Web Rides TV: Audi RS4 Vs Lexus IS-F

web rides tv audi rs4 vs lexus is f

Nearly every time I turn in a review I get Farago hounding me that it's not manic and passionate as the RS4 review I wrote way back when. "But Bob," I argue "The [whatever] isn't as inspiring as the thunderous Audi." When I was over at Jalopnik, I got a chance to drive the then new Lexus IS-F for a week. And I loved it. Brash, powerful, stealthy and quite a capable corner carver, the IS-F is to Lexus as drunken orgies are to the Martha Stuart brand. But, the question I kept asking (both rhetorically and to other journalist buddies as we stood on the paddock at Laguna Seca) was, "How does the IS-F compare to the RS4?" Well friends, Web Rides TV has the answer, and I can't say I disagree.

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  • Brock_Landers Brock_Landers on Apr 25, 2008

    RS4 has really no place in this segment. If you want the fastest car on track with a stick shift - then it's M3. If you are sometimes lazy and want to cruise in auto mode and occasionally trash the car in ultra-quick paddle shifting mode then its ISF. If you like understeer, bad weight balance, constant tire squeal from your front tires and you think that Audi's quarter century old rally victories have something to do with current production models - then RS4 is for you. I'd drive my Volkswagen's at night :)

  • Guyincognito Guyincognito on Apr 25, 2008

    @ Bruce Banner : I know of custom systems but check Horsepower Freaks. They are developing a kit right now. It should be on sale soon.

  • Rprellwitz Rprellwitz on Apr 25, 2008

    I don't think there is anyway to say one of these cars is clearly "better" than the others. DoctorV8 - I love your devotion the the E39 M5 - I recognize your moniker from the Gustav's M5 Board - and this is still my favorite car. Clearly more luxurious than the others being reference its aged electronics and anemic brakes (mine overheated into turn 8 at Road America sending me into the kitty litter) are its only real drawbacks. Stoptech's on all 4 corners made track days enjoyable but not up to the m3 E46 M3 - Interior and sound system are dismal in comparison to the M5 or even the RS4 - and the lack of four doors in the E46 variant makes it problematic with children. The SMG and nearly perfect balance made it an amazing track car and the most fun drive. RS4 - Nav that works - Bluetooth phone linking are huge plusses day to day. The brakes are fantastic (in dramatic comparison to the M5) Handling is fantastic as is the prodigous power from the engine. Not quite as fun to drive as an E46 M3 except......when the snow flies - mix AWD, Blizzaks, 420 hp and 4+ inches of snow and the RS4 becomes truly amazing - steering can be done with subtle inputs on the wheel and much less subtle inputs of the right foot - with the ESP defeated the RS4 is amazingly easy and fun drive in horrid conditions. Each car has its virtues and vices - i sampled each for a minimum of 2 years - not sure what the RS4 replacement will be but both this IS-F and the new M3 seem very intriguing...

  • Doctorv8 Doctorv8 on Apr 25, 2008

    rprellwitz, I don't consider the M5 a track car; that's what my Z06 is for. And I don't live in the snow belt, so the extra weight of the RS4's AWD is of little use. Oh....and you can get a Bluetooth module for the E39! ;-) Congrats on having owned both...