Skip to main content

Audi’s RS 4 Avant Nogaro commemorates 20 years of RS (and you can’t have one)

Twenty years ago, Audi launched the RS 2 Avant wagon, the first in what is today a wide range of RS performance models designed to take on the best from BMW M and Mercedes-Benz AMG.

To commemorate the anniversary, Audi will produce a special edition of the RS 2 Avant’s spiritual successor: The Audi RS 4 Nogaro, which is set to debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in March – and should do its ancestor proud.

Like the RS 2, the commemorative RS 4 will only be available in Nogaro Blue, a special color originally meant to reference Frank Biela’s two victories on the Nogaro circuit in the 1993 French Touring Car Championship.

While the two wagons may share the same paint color, a lot has changed over the past 20 years.

The RS 2 Avant had a 2.2-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine, which produced 315 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque. Assembled at Porsche’s Rossle-Zau plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany, it could do 0 to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds, and had a top speed of 163 mph.

Today’s RS 4 Avant has a naturally-aspirated 4.2-liter V8, good for 459 hp and 317 lb-ft. It will do 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 174 mph.

Besides its historic blue paint, the RS 4 Nogaro gets gloss-black trim for the grille, window slots, and exhaust tips. There’s also matte-black trim on the roof rails.

The black-and-blue theme continues on the inside, with an interior decorated with black Valcona leather and blue Alcantara. Carbon inlays with a special blue thread finish off the upgrades.

Since the regular RS 4 Avant isn’t sold in the United States, the Nogaro won’t be either. That means it will probably become just as rare and desirable to U.S. enthusiasts as the original RS 2 Avant.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
2015 BMW M4 convertible adds sunshine to the M4’s resume
2015 BMW M4 convertible

BMW will follow up the highly-anticipated 2015 M3 sedan and M4 coupe with the debut of an all-new M4 convertible at the 2014 New York Auto Show.
Waiting in the wings since the sedan and coupe debuted at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, the M4 convertible is almost identical to its siblings, other than the folding roof.
That means the convertible has the same 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged inline-six as its siblings, producing 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. It also comes with the same choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed M-DCT transmissions.
The M4 convertible also comes with the same high-tech hardware as the fixed-roof cars - including the Active M Differential and Adaptive M Suspension - so cornering should be just as much fun with the top down.
That top, by the way, is made of metal, just like on the last M3 convertible. BMW says improvements for the M4 reduce cabin noise by 2 decibels (the better to hear that straight-six), while an upgraded wind blocker will keep occupants' toupees intact.
Retracting the top takes 20 seconds at speeds up to 11 mph, but stowing it eats up almost half of the M4's trunk space.
However, that's a minor inconvenience compared to the weight penalty for going topless.
While the 2015 M4 convertible was subject to the same diet as its siblings - and weighs about 90 pounds less than the previous M3 convertible - it still weighs about 500 pounds more than the M4 coupe.
That added bulk shows when the stopwatches come out.
The M4 convertible will do 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds with the M-DCT transmission, or 4.4 seconds with the manual. That's pretty quick, but the coupe takes just 3.9 seconds with the dual-clutch and 4.1 seconds with the manual. Both cars are limited to 155 mph.
Buyers should expect to pay a bit more as well. The 2015 BMW M4 convertible will arrive in U.S. showrooms this summer, most likely at a slight premium over the M4 coupe's $65,125 base price.
In addition to the M4 convertible, BMW will unveil the 2015 X4 crossover coupe and 2015 Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe at the New York Auto Show, which begins April 16. Check back here for the latest updates.

Read more
Clash of Germany’s muscle car coupes: Audi RS 5 versus Mercedes C63 AMG Edition 507

The BMW M3 is a fantastic car. let's be honest, though; if you are looking for a two-door sports coupe, getting an M3 is a bit ... obvious, particularly when you consider what else is out there.
You don't even have to look outside the borders of Deutschland to find meaningful M3 competition. Cars like the Audi RS 5 and the Mercedes C63 AMG Edition 507 aren't just competitive with the iconic Bimmer; they are positively outstanding in their own right. But if you are going to drop $80,00 of your hard-earned dollars on a Teutonic power coupe, which one should you get? Worry not, Digital Trends is here to help.
Both the Audi and the Benz come packing some serious muscle. Although we're deep in days of turbos and supercharges, both cars derive their god-like power form of naturally aspirated V8s. These throwbacks to the heyday of muscle cars may be old-school, but they use technical witchcraft to put out stunning amounts of power.
Yes the 4.2-liter V8 in the RS 5 might have originated in 1991, but saying it's old fashioned is like saying Einstein is basically just an Australopithecus. This motor has evolved; and now it has more in common with the R8's V10 than the original 4.2. Thanks to its evolution, this Teutonic typhoon puts out 450 horsepower and 316 pound-feet of tire-shredding torque.
This stunning engine revs like a race car engine all the way north of 8000 rpm ... and sounds like an angry lion. But it also calms down when you want it to, which is nice when you are just trying to cruise home from work rather than give the old lady on the sidewalk a heart attack.
If the Audi's engine is impressive, though, the hand-built V8 in the C63 AMG 507 is a living legend, all the more so because it is about to be retired.
The V8 displaces a GTO-like 6.2 liters and while Audi might be happy with 450 hp, the AMG blows by with a Porsche-punching 507 hp. Even more telling is the difference in torque: Audi 316, Mercedes 450. I guess there is something to that old saying: no replacement for displacement.
Every explosion in the combustion chamber of this mighty V8 feels and sounds like the world coming to an end, but they just keep coming as you are pulled into another dimension on a wave of German firepower.
It is no knock on the awesome engine in the Audi to say that the Mercedes takes the cake in this category.
While these two cars engines may have more in common than you might expect, how they deliver their performance is as different as night and day.
 The Mercedes C63 AMG 507's engine hints at just how it delivers its performance. With 507 horsepower in a car that is the size of a Honda Civic, everything happens at a savage pace. 0 to 60 is conquered in 3.8 seconds. Even that doesn't do justice to the sheer ferocity of the experience. The 507 will keep up this wild rate of acceleration all the way to 176 mph where it slams angrily into an electronic limiter. Limiter? Damn you Heinrich!
The Merc is no mere muscle car either, because on a track it handles like a dream ... albeit a scary one. With rear-wheel drive, this car is game for everything from controlled oversteer to drifting. However, if you want to get the most of the C63 AMG, you had better be damned good, because asking the rear wheels to put down that much power is difficult.
Fortunately, as with all Mercedes, the chassis feels solid like it is carved from granite. Unfortunately, so does the suspension. It will take you around corners fast, but it will also take important spinal ligaments and disks with it. That is okay for a day of track driving, but drive it on the street and you will be putting your massage therapist's kids through college.
The RS 5 is another thing all together. It's not quite as fast, with 0 to 60 times reported as low as 3.9 or as high as 4.5 seconds, depending on the tester. Though that says more about the difficulty of doing a full bore start in an AWD car than it does about the RS 5 in particular.
 But if the C63 AMG 507 is carved from granite, then the Audi is carved from LeBron James's bones; it's powerful but agile. The car's response to the slightest input is simply sublime.  
Also because it puts its power down through the world-famous quattro all-wheel drive system and one of the best sports transmissions ever made, a seven speed double clutch DSG, the performance is much more accessible more often.
The RS 5 is great on the track, but it is even better where you are actually going to drive it: on the road. The car corners like it is glued to the road, and accelerates from any rpm and any gear like a cheetah on meth. That grip gives you the confidence to take the car to the limit, where - depending on the dynamic setting - you get either some safe if slightly boring understeer or much more fun liftoff oversteer.
If you are a truly expert driver, or you plan on living at your local track, then by all means get the Mercedes. If you are something more closely approximating a human being, then the Audi RS 5 is going to be faster in the real world.
The Audi RS 5 takes this category for its everyday, usable power.
The real world
Chances are, if you are looking at getting one of these cars rather than a two-seater sports car like a Porsche Cayman or Corvette Stingray, you want your sports coupe do be at least vaguely practical. So what do these cars have to offer in the real world?
As already stated, the Mercedes is not a comfortable car. Fast, good looking, and distinctive? Yes. For people with low bone density? No. It does still have some practical qualities. though. It might be very, very expensive, a fully loaded example costs around $87,000, but it will retain its value. It's the last hurrah of the amazing 6.2-liter V8, which is being sent out to pasture. This makes the 507 an immediate collectors' item.
Collectability aside, the Audi just has much more to offer in the practical field. For starters, the ride is much better. You can commute in this car without wearing a backbrace. And with 16 mpg city and 23 highway, compared to 13 and 19 mpg for the Mercedes, you can not only skip a few gas stations you can also avoid the gas-guzzler tax. That helps keep the price down, a fully loaded RS 5 costs around $77,000 - a full ten grand less than the Mercedes.
For that money you also get slightly better features in the RS 5. For instance ,I prefer Audi's MMI system to Mercedes' COMAND.
The crown here goes to the Audi RS 5.
The Checkered Flag:
For all of their similarities the Audi and Mercedes offer very different experiences. The Mercedes is a stripped-down supercar masquerading as a sports coupe. There are very few cars that deliver this kind of performance feel, and, with that amazing engine, this is a very special vehicle.
I have massive respect for anyone who drives a Mercedes C63 AMG Edition 507. It is a statement car.
That being said, if you handed me the money I would gaze longingly at the Mercedes dealership and then happily walk over to Audi and buy the RS 5. Not only is this a car that does more things, it is also faster in the real world of rain, speed bumps, and herniated disks. Combine that with the fact that it is also a lot cheaper than the Mercedes and you have your winner: The badass from Ingolstadt, the Audi RS 5. 

Read more
Morgan reportedly adding hosepower to its wood-framed Plus 4 in Geneva
morgan adds horsepower plus 4 main file sport  2

Morgan has been making the Plus 4 model since 1950, and it's time for an update. No wonder one of its best-selling models still has a wooden frame.
The Morgan Plus 4 embodies every value of a classic British sports car. A four-cylinder engine that is as light as it is torque-y is used in combination with a lightweight chassis to create a potent power-to-weight ratio.
Like everything else these days, Morgan has heard the cry for more horsepower and gladly answered. Carscoops has informed us that the Morgan Plus 4 will receive a more powerful engine while staying true to its four-cylinder heritage. What will it use? The Plus 4 has the same reliable Ford Duratec as the Caterham Seven and uses a five-speed sourced from a Mazda Miata. A Morgan spokesman said it will be “by far the most powerful Plus 4 ever.”
I have always wanted to drive a Morgan, as the vintage styling combined with a modern powertain is highly alluring. Waking up on a brisk Sunday morning only to find a Morgan in my driveway is something I dream about every Saturday night. I wish a company would follow Morgan's lead and create modern cars of old in a more affordable, easily accessible way ... or for Morgan to lower its prices. Alas, this is why I still dream.   
This lightweight two-seater can only get better, so keep on sticking to the classic sports car style, Morgan.
Look for the Morgan Plus 4 and 3 Wheeler at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

Read more