Audi RS4 vs C63 AMG

17 Dec, 2012 10:30am

We test the new 444bhp Audi RS4 Avant against its key rival from Mercedes: the C63 AMG Estate

Ever since the wild RS2 was launched two decades ago, fast estates have played a big part in Audi’s success. So it’s no surprise that the new RS4 is sold exclusively in Avant guise.

This latest in a long line of fast quattro wagons is powered by the same 444bhp 4.2-litre V8 engine as the RS5 coupe and R8 supercar. And there’s no missing the RS4 Avant, with its subtle yet aggressive styling and trademark detailing.

But the new Audi faces a stern rival, in the shape of the Mercedes C63 AMG Estate. This car’s mighty 6.2-litre V8 produces 451bhp and a thumping 600Nm of torque.

Strictly speaking, a top-spec diesel A4 Avant or C-Class Estate will have all the performance you could need, but these cars aren’t about being sensible – they’re guilty pleasures that offer mind-boggling power, plus luxury, practicality and huge desirability. There’s something uniquely appealing about these super estates, and this is sure to be a closely fought battle for supremacy.


These cars successfully combine sensational performance with day-to-day estate practicality. Picking a winner isn’t easy, as they are so closely matched in nearly every measurable area.

Both are hugely desirable, powered by dramatic V8 engines, great to drive and beautifully built. But the four-wheel-drive RS4 is marked out by its near-unbreakable traction, taut body control and massive reserves of grip. In contrast, in anything other than bone dry conditions, the rear-wheel-drive Mercedes doesn’t inspire anywhere near as much confidence.

The C63 has more natural steering feel and feedback, while the thunderous V8 soundtrack is a delight. On the right road it’s hugely engaging, but the Audi’s engine sounds even better and the S tronic box is crisper and more responsive on downshifts.

The RS4 also looks a fraction more distinctive, has a roomier and more modern cabin, plus it’s cheaper to buy and should hold on to its price better – although neither of these cars will be bought by drivers concerned about their motoring costs.

Understated yet aggressive, fast yet practical, focused yet comfortable, the new RS4 will be all the performance car many people could ever want. So by the very tightest of margins, the hard-hitting Audi takes victory in this test.

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The AMG 6.2 V8 engine produces the Best Soundtrack in the World.Stop being Biased :P

might sound great but cant put the power down.

The problem with Audi's is the image, they are now what BMW was 10-15 years ago, driven by twits and showoffs. Therefore to be taken seriously as a human being, you will have to go with the Mercedes in this test.

What do you mean 'cant put the power down' ?
Driving a performance car is not just about pulling off at the traffic lights. Take these cars for a drive, and see how the Merc accelerate from 60km/h through to 250km/h. It kills the Audi.

Indeed. Having been an Audi customer for 25 years I left to BMW in 2003. Quality of materials higher in te BMW and find the styling of the new Audis esp the front looks puffed up like a fish. BMW 3 and 5 series are superb designs IMHO and engine technologies have left Audi dead in the ater for the past 3-4 years with only now Audi fighting back with the superb 3.0 BiTdi

+1 there's no replacement for displacement!

Indeed - the new biTdi is a superb machine - fast and frugal(ish) :)

...not sure about your facts there though - tadge biased maybe?


We have one of each in the family. RS4 and CLK 63.

I am sure about my facts when I see it on the road...

Whats the pt of that huge torque/HP when you need absolutely dry conditions to ultilise all of it? I will take the audi for the quattro 4-wheel drive.

''The C63 has more natural steering feel and feedback, while the thunderous V8 soundtrack is a delight. On the right road it’s hugely engaging, but the Audi’s engine sounds even better''
I was talking about the sound (Audi has AWD while Mercedes is RWD so it's easy to know who transfers more power down )

obviously clueless. you have totally no idea what you are talking about. The Audi wipes its arse with the merc

Do punters buy a benz solely for some "thunderous soundtrack??" I suggest not. And how many punters buy a benz as a dry weather car, because its to big and dumb and powerful and dangerous in the wet? 4WD clearly trumps what is probably 2 tonnes of heaving RWD benz. And how curious Audi manage almost the same bhp from a mere 4.4L V8. MB have NO history of making fast driveable cars. Overweight, over engineered, massively engined cars are mere badly aped copies of the real players in that segment. MB, like BMW, are morally bankrupt avaricious 'profits-first' 2nd rate players, trading on some long lost self-promoted glory.