Performance version of the Audi A4 estate will return with a turbocharged V6 engine later this year; saloon variant to follow

The new-generation Audi RS4 has been spied testing in Avant form at the Nürburgring, prior to going on sale later this year.

The S4 was revealed at the Geneva motor show in March, so we expect this generation of RS4 to follow shortly, in both Avant and saloon variants. 

Although a previously spied prototype is badged as an S4, the extended wheelarches gave it away as an RS. This version is clearly identifiable as the RS4, however, because of its large twin exhausts and aggressive front-end styling. 

Powering the new model will be a tweaked version of the 349bhp turbocharged V6 that features in the S4. An output of around 500bhp is expected, meaning the new RS4 will be competitive against its main rivals, the 503bhp Mercedes-AMG C63 S and the 425bhp BMW M3. By comparison, the current RS4 features a naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 engine with 444bhp.

Autocar revealed earlier this summer that the next-generation RS4 would not only return in Avant form but would also include a saloon variant. The decision to bring back the RS4 saloon - absent in the current generation - has been driven by markets such as China and the US, where there is more demand for the four-door model. The Avant will continue to be sold, and it is likely that both will be offered in the UK when the car goes on sale here.

A 2016 launch means that the RS4 will join the range much sooner than previous generations of the performance-focused A4. The fourth-generation A4 didn’t get an RS4 version until 2012, despite the standard car going on sale in 2008.

However, Horst Glaser, Audi’s head of chassis development, revealed that demand has brought the new RS4 forwards. “Our customers want the RS version earlier in the product lifecycle while the car is still new,” he said.

Our Verdict

Audi RS4 Avant
The New RS4 exhibits handsome angular styling

Audi’s rapid estate returns. We know it’s fast, but can it engage us?

Join the debate

Comments
6

22 July 2015

The key question is whether it can seat 5 in the saloon? At present the only Audi RS models that can seat 5 are the RS4 and 6 Avants. No RS coupe or saloon can seat 5.

23 July 2015

I had a 2006 RS4 Saloon. I liked it very much, and would far rather have it again to this. Other than being simplistically a bit faster, I cannot think of any 'RS' sense in which this is more desirable, and plenty in which it is not.

23 July 2015

The issue may be overlap with the RS3 sedan.The S3 has been clocked at 4.4 0-60,so the RS3 is likely to be around 4.0 or a tad less,which is already it C63/M3 range.
Sure it will be larger and more GBP/$ but the RS3 will be BBFTB [Better Bang for The Buck]
The HUGE advantage over the C63/M3 is the Quattro,IMHO.No good having 500HP and being unable to get up your driveway in the winter! I know,I had a C63,which I traded for a TTRS+.

Madmac

12 April 2016

I can see the reports now.....

Great car, well finished, excellent interior but doesn't excite or handle in the same way a the Merc or the BMW.

Not a bad thing I guess (judging from the customers it attracts) but it leaves me cold.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

12 April 2016

I can see the reports now.....

Great car, well finished, excellent interior but doesn't excite or handle in the same way a the Merc or the BMW.

Not a bad thing I guess (judging from the customers it attracts) but it leaves me cold.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

12 April 2016

I can see the reports now.....

Great car, well finished, excellent interior but doesn't excite or handle in the same way a the Merc or the BMW.

Not a bad thing I guess (judging from the customers it attracts) but it leaves me cold.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    9 December 2016
    Audi Sport drops a sub-4.0sec-to-60mph bomb into Porsche Cayman territory
  • First Drive
    9 December 2016
    Plug-in-hybrid 3 Series shows the benefit of BMW's experience with the i3 and i8. Sophisticated, swift and broadly talented to drive – and sweet-handing, too
  • Car review
    9 December 2016
    Italian brand emerges as a true luxury power with a large SUV
  • 2016 Porsche Panamera Turbo
    First Drive
    8 December 2016
    A smaller engine doesn't prevent the new Porsche Panamera Turbo being a ridiculously quick and capable sporting GT. We've driven it in the UK
  • 2016 Vauxhall Adam 1.0i Turbo Unlimited
    First Drive
    8 December 2016
    The 1.0-litre turbo engine and Unlimited trim combine to make this the best Adam in the line-up