Trying to keep features unique and interesting is pretty tricky; considering the vast amount of automotive blogs out there these days. I knew I had to raise the bar even more this time. My good friend Rob owns an immaculate 2013 Audi B8 RS4 Avant, which is the perfect subject.
That being said, it’s pretty much standard but sometimes it’s all about the history, background and life that revolves around a car. To anyone who doesn’t know Rob, this is just your everyday RS4, but what goes on behind the scenes is pretty amazing. It’s kind of a big deal.
I personally thought instead of focusing directly on the actual car, that I’ll give you guys an insight into what makes his RS4 very different to the rest of them. The photos do speak for themselves too.
I first met Rob and his brother Harry around 5 years ago now, through mutual friends who shared the same interest within the whole automotive community. I try not to say the word ‘scene’ too much if I can help it, for obvious reasons as it comes with a very and somewhat tainted stereotype.
When I met him, he owned an Audi 8P A3 3.2L V6 S-Line in White, on KW V3 coilovers and 19″ Work VS-XX wheels. Realizing he wanted more power, he soon traded it in for a 8P S3 2.0T also in White and moved all parts onto that, creating the ultimate hatchback that he wanted. Form and function, hand in hand. Then you guessed it, he hit it with the big APR stick and the result is around 400bhp. All that power being completely usable with the Quattro system and currently the whole car is undergoing a complete makeover – should be interesting to see what happens!
Let me bring you to the present day, after the brief history lesson. Here is the latest addition to his Audi fetish, the B8 RS4 Avant in Misano Red.
Such a lovely car right? I could stare at this thing for hours, it really stands out so much. The B8 range have this really cool evil face to them, like some sort of Storm Trooper out of Star Wars, ok a Red one if anything! Big wheels, huge ceramic brakes, large exhaust tips on the rear and lots of space inside to swing a cat around. I mean, that’s just a saying right, or do people actually test that shit out with a real life cat? Hmmm.
Audi do extremely well in building these ‘get in and go’ performance cars, without carrying out any pre flight checks. A super all rounder in my eyes.
20″ forged wheels surround the huge 6 piston 380mm carbon ceramic brake setup. It has insane stopping power to tackle any situation on the road.
It did come with the chrome front grille trim but Rob decided to upgrade that to Audi’s ‘Black Edition’ which features an even better looking gloss Black finish.
I won’t go into technical or geeky related figures and information here because that’s not what this feature is about. Alright, maybe some figures then… 450bhp from a 4.2L V8 with 7 speed S-Tronic gearbox. Tasty, and sounds awesome.
Right, let’s get down to the main focus of the feature and what makes this RS4 so special. It has a special Hand Control system. A custom developed and installed lever system that is connected directly to the pedals, within the foot well.
The reason why is that unfortunately, Rob was tragically involved in a road traffic accident some years ago which left him paralyzed from the chest downwards. He lost the use of his legs altogether, a mind-blowing devastation that no one could simply imagine going through. It’s a very sensitive subject I know, so I won’t go into full detail about the in’s and out’s of what happened.
So what does one supposedly do when forced into a situation like this? I mean, what do you exactly do? It’s something you really can’t comprehend. I guess you take one day at a time and you press on with life. Even though Rob is wheelchair bound, to me Rob is just Rob and the wheelchair is actually pretty invisible to me because it’s just a materialistic item.
He didn’t let anything get in the way of his passion and love, which is cars. That alone, is something extremely inspiring and something we should all take note from.
His motivation to drive, to get back behind the wheel and be set free in this world, is a powerful thought. I can speak for him and you guys when I say this – being automotively obsessed myself – that when you’re driving it’s almost as if you slip into another world, where nothing else matters. Sometimes you just drive, to be in that world where it’s just you, your car and the open road.
So how does this Hand Control system work exactly? I didn’t know myself that there was this kind of system out there, before Rob showed me the amazing bit of kit on his 3.2L A3. Currently, the system only works with Automatic cars, or equivalent SMG/DSG gearboxes and so on.
To accelerate, you pull the lever backwards, towards yourself, and to brake you push forwards, away from yourself. To someone who hasn’t used this system at all before, it’s incredibly sensitive, only because we’re used to using our feet rather than our hands to accelerate and brake. You need time to get used to having that precise control, where you don’t have to think about it, you just do it.
The lever is directly attached to the accelerator and brake pedals. Anyone else can still drive the car because the pedals are free from obstruction.
This system isn’t a cheap purchase but it goes without saying that cost doesn’t come into it, when it gives you the ability to drive again. The cost is almost priceless really.
Have you ever looked in your rear-view mirror and seen Audi’s amazing L.E.D daytime running lights, creeping up behind you? They look superb! One of the best looking headlights out there I’d say but that’s just my opinion.
Shoot done, we decided to pack up and get out of the cold winds, then hit the road for a spot of driving.
You know what, take the RS4 out of the picture for a second… Rob is an inspiration and all round great guy, who is one of the most genuine automotive and car enthusiasts I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. He inspires me to stay motivated with the things that make me tick; creative design, photography and just general day-to-day life.
I hope that this feature, story, or whatever you want to call it, teaches everyone something – to be positive and if you have a passion, pursue it and don’t give up.
Nothing is totally impossible.