Audi RS4 Avant vs Merc C63 AMG Estate

Brawny, aggressive and rowdy, meets effective, smooth and grippy. Now, guess which one’s which. Not hard is it? And relax, this isn’t where I throw you the 180-degree curve ball. You’re not wrong. The latest RS4 is everything we’ve come to expect from a fast Audi, likewise the Mercedes-AMG C63S.

They are caricatures of themselves, and in the super saloon playground, they’re the ones at either end of the see-saw. They have plenty in common: They weigh within 10kg of each other (the Merc’s porkiest, at 1,725kg), claim identical 4.1-secs-to-100kph times, they have identical 1,510-litre load bays with the seats folded, while a mere 10mm separates their overall lengths.

If you were a purely rational being it shouldn’t matter which one you choose – each has been created with a gimlet eye on the other. But philosophically they are miles apart. The Audi’s focus is safe, secure speed. It channels the 444bhp and 599Nm delivered by its twin turbo 2.9-litre V6 to all four wheels.