New RS4 to share RS5's 444bhp V8, and won't be available as a saloon

Audi is turning back the clock for the next generation of RS-badged A4s by restricting the new RS4 to a five-door Avant bodystyle only.

The reasons are threefold: hot Avant models have historically outsold saloon versions, the S5 Sportback offers a performance four-door alternative and the market is moving away from hot four-doors. “We will continue with the RS4 Avant, which has traditionally accounted for the majority of European sales,” says the boss of Audi’s quattro division, Stephan Riel, "but our research suggests the market for a saloon version is now rather limited."

The decision also chimes with Audi’s heritage of hot estates. In three-generations only the last model included an RS4 saloon.

Set for launch at Geneva, the new RS4 Avant uses the RS5’s 4.2-litre V8, developing 444bhp and 317lbft. The same engine powered the last-gen RS4, although it developed 28 fewer bhp. Also new to the RS4 is a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, optional instead of the standard six-speed manual. The quattro four-wheel drive system is also the latest version with torque adjustable across the rear-axle.

New ‘wave-style’ discs are added to the braking system. Eschewing conventional design, they feature small indents in the outer edges of the discs that together are claimed to reduce the weight at each corner by around 1.5 kg, reducing unsprung mass.

 

Our Verdict

The Audi A4 is an improvement over the previous version, but isn't good enough to topple the BMW 3-series

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6 January 2012

[quote Autocar]Audi is turning back the clock for the next generation of RS-badged A4s by restricting the new RS4 to a five-door Avant bodystyle only.
[/quote]

I dont blame Audi for producing this in Avant format only, it worked well with the first iteration and is arguably better looking and more useful as an estate. Probably more aerodynamic too.Personally I have always preferred hot estates to saloons anyway.

Cracking, classy and desirable car everything cars from the East are not!

6 January 2012

[quote 289]

[quote Autocar]Audi is turning back the clock for the next generation of RS-badged A4s by restricting the new RS4 to a five-door Avant bodystyle only.
[/quote]

I dont blame Audi for producing this in Avant format only, it worked well with the first iteration and is arguably better looking and more useful as an estate. Probably more aerodynamic too.Personally I have always preferred hot estates to saloons anyway.

Cracking, classy and desirable car everything cars from the East are not!

[/quote] Rather have a cabrio myself. Even without silly weight saving discs.

6 January 2012

The body-styles are the least of their worries. Judging by the lukewarm reception the RS5 has received they should be concentrating on making it as good to drive as the old one

7 January 2012

What the hell is wrong with Quattro? The last good car they made was the RS4, everything else has had a rather average reception, especially the RS3. Now they want to can the RS4 Saloon in favour of an Avant? I think VAG should take a serious look at Stephan Riel and stop to think is he the right man for the job? They really have only produced 2 good cars RS4, and R8. When you compare this to likes of AMG and M divison im sorry quattro is made to look a joke by them.

7 January 2012

It is a real shame that having got the last RS4 and R8 so right, Audi immediately went back to its bad old ways. I haven't driven it, but I believe from what I have read that the current supercharged V6 S4 is a pretty decent car, and fast, but it's not the old RS4. Sadly it now looks almost as if they made that car so good by accident rather than by design.

7 January 2012

[quote Submariner Redux] It is a real shame that having got the last RS4 and R8 so right, Audi immediately went back to its bad old ways. I haven't driven it, but I believe from what I have read that the current supercharged V6 S4 is a pretty decent car, and fast, but it's not the old RS4. Sadly it now looks almost as if they made that car so good by accident rather than by design.
[/quote]

Exactly, they only ever seem to have made good cars by accident and they are wasted on the "aspirational" A3 and A4 Tdi drivers anyway.

To my mind Audi has never made anything special since the original Quattro - I mean great as it may be the A8 is much more Lamborghini than Audi.

7 January 2012

[quote toptidy]To my mind Audi has never made anything special since the original Quattro - I mean great as it may be the A8 is much more Lamborghini than Audi[/quote] you could counter that with the potential argument that the R8's donor car is more Audi than Lamborghini as many purists howled at the time of its launch :)

7 January 2012

Since the M3 is superior to the RS4 in every way, I guess this is Audi's way of getting one up on BMW. I'd buy a C63.

7 January 2012

[quote Submariner Redux]It is a real shame that having got the last RS4 and R8 so right, Audi immediately went back to its bad old ways. I haven't driven it, but I believe from what I have read that the current supercharged V6 S4 is a pretty decent car, and fast, but it's not the old RS4. Sadly it now looks almost as if they made that car so good by accident rather than by design.[/quote] I didn't totally understand why the last RS4 got so good reviews from the press and the RS5 bad ones. I had the chance to drive both and I didn't noticed all these differences in how the car handles. I loved the RS4 Avant and I looked after a used one while I'll never consider the RS5 but this doesn't make the RS5 a bad car. I prefer the RS4 Avant looks, I want manual transmission, I like the 4 doors and the added practicality of the boot. If it's all about driving involvement and fun even the successful RS4 didn't have a chance against the M3 as well as the RS5. The actual S4 is a very good car, I sampled one with auto box, I'd like to try one manual but in Italy seems hard to find. It has lots of torque, but I'd always keep the NA V8 being able to choose so a new RS4 makes sense to me.

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