For now, though, it is a battle between the bulked-up, slammed-down Lexus IS-F and the Audi RS4, the all-wheel-drive A4 with a 420-hp V8 that we recently described as “The Best Driving Audi Ever.”
Unfortunately, before you can take a seat behind the wheel of the Lexus IS-F, you have to, you know, see it. We accept that the question of styling is largely a subjective matter. So there might be some Toyota fanboys who will admire the IS-F’s nose — so like that of a Beluga whale. They might even like the dewlaplike growths behind the front wheels. But no one of sound mind could love the stacked quad exhaust tips. This is at least partly because they are not actually exhaust tips. In fact, they are not connected to the exhaust system in any way. They are simply jewelry for the rear fascia. It’s an uncharacteristically cheesy execution by Lexus.
Where the IS-F has a certain look that we associate with the worst excesses of the aftermarket, the Audi is all understated musculature. It’s relatively subtle, but we like it. Wide 19-inch wheels and tires are covered (barely) by dramatically flared fenders. And the special trunk lid has the sweetest ducktail spoiler formed into the metal. A lower ride height, satin-finish metal trim, a deeper front fascia and gorgeous wheels round out the RS4’s visual signifiers.
The all-wheel-drive 2007 Audi RS4 just plain hauls ass. It doesn’t rotate around an apex like a rear-driver. It’s less the rapier than it is the broadsword. But it’s devastatingly effective as a street machine, so it wins.
Source: Inside Line