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Specification:
Audi RS4 Avant
Engine:
2894cc, V6 twin-turbo, 4WD, 444bhp, 443lb ft
Claimed MPG:
32.1mpg, 200g/km CO2
Performance:
0–62mph in 4.1secs, 155mph
Weight:
1715kg
Price:
£72,175/£77,145 as tested

To be a petrolhead really is to live in a constant state of stress. Just as we’re coming to terms with the fact that naturally aspirated engines are being choked out by the turbocharger, we get electricity to worry about.

Which is why I made sure the RS4 was there to uphold petrol’s honour on last month’s I-Pace test. That and the fact that the similarities were striking: both circa £70k, both 0–62mph in something starting with a four, both rapid family wagons at heart, both painted in Elephant’s Breath grey. A poignant moment, then. Fossil fuels handing over the baton to electricity?

Not quite. As you’ll have read, the I-Pace is a wondrous thing, but until the charging network catches up with its engineering wizardry, realistically its appeal will remain narrow. But not for long.

What the exercise highlighted was just how much richer the experience of driving a petrol car is. Hop from zapping around silently in the Jag to the RS4, and it feels like a living, breathing thing. Vibrations through your pants and palms, a gearbox to get along with, glorious (albeit a touch too synthesised) noise from in front and behind – it’s a full-body sensory experience that we tend to take for granted.

Electricity is coming and, honestly, I couldn’t be more excited, but EVs have got a way to go before matching combustion for sheer thrills. For now, my money would go on the RS4, but since driving the I-Pace, I’m even more acutely aware that we need to enjoy ourselves while we can.

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