Every once in a while, a car is developed that is so good and such a class benchmark that other manufacturers are very wary about taking it on. The Range Rover for example - maybe even the Mazda MX-5. Audi makes such a car too - and it's this one, the RS4 Avant.
If you want a very, very fast, four-wheel drive estate with supercar performance, there's really no credible rival to this one. The work of Audi Sport, the Ingolstadt brand's go-faster arm, the genes of this particular car can be traced right back to quattro's first product, the RS2 estate that was co-developed with Porsche in 1994. It paved the way for the first generation in the RS4 line, the 2.7-litre twin-turbo MK1 model of 2000, ferociously quick but ultimately rather unsatisfying in the way that very fast Audis used to be.
But aren't any more. The second generation RS4 of 2006, this car, proved to be a landmark car for the brand, a machine good enough at last to properly challenge the all-conquering BMW M3. The third generation version of 2012 used the same 4.2-litre V8 and continued that trend, But can the same form line be maintained with the switch to V6 power? Let's find out.