Audi's hot estate gets performance upgrade over previous version; derestricted version can reach 174mph
12 September 2017

The highly cherished Audi RS4 Avant is back after an unveiling of the new fourth-generation model by Audi Sport boss Stephan Winkelmann at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show.

Set for UK delivery during the second quarter of 2018, the new model builds on the developments brought to the RS5 Coupe earlier this year with the adoption of a turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine developed in a joint venture between Audi and Porsche.

With 444bhp and 443lb ft, the new unit delivers the same amount of power but a significant 125lb ft more torque than the third-generation RS4 Avant’s naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 petrol powerplant.

It is also a considerable 95bhp and 74lb ft more than that delivered by the turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 used by the latest S4 Avant.

With a kerb weight of 1790kg, this provides the RS4 Avant with a power-to-weight ratio of 249bhp per tonne.

The new engine is combined with a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox with remote steering wheel mounted shift paddles and a quattro four-wheel drive system to provide the 2018-model-year RS4 Avant with a claimed 0-62mph time of 4.1sec – some 0.6sec quicker than its predecessor.

Top speed is nominally limited to 155mph, though buyers can order the new Audi Sport model with an optional RS dynamic package that raises it to 174mph.

Along with the increase in performance, the new RS4 Avant also boasts a significant reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions at a claimed 32.1mpg and 199g/km. By comparison, the old model was rated at 26.4mpg and 249g/km.

“The RS4 is our icon,” said Winkelmann. “It blends power with superlative utility.”

Setting the new RS4 Avant apart from the S4 Avant is a series of unique design touches Audi Sport says were inspired by the detailing of the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO race car.

They include a deep new front bumper featuring large air vents, both left and right, as well as a smaller aperture underneath the new car’s reworked single frame grille and pronounced blisters over the front wheel arches.

Further back, the RS4 receives new exterior mirror housings and beefed up sills underneath the doors. In addition, there are widened rear fenders featuring even more pronounced blisters over the rear wheel arches than those seen up front and small vents mimicking the look of those up front alongside the outer edges of the LED tail-lights.

The extrovert look continues at the rear, with a spoiler atop the tailgate as well as a re-profiled bumper housing a substantial diffuser element and a pair of large oval tailpipes finished in black.

A standard RS sport suspension lowers the ride height by 7mm over the standard A4 Avant with sport suspension. Options include a dynamic ride control system with adaptive damping, RS-specific steering and carbon ceramic brake discs.

Inside, there are RS sport seats, a flat bottomed RS multi-function steering wheel, unique RS shift gate trim and illuminated RS door sill trims. Standard specification for the RS4 Avant also includes RS-specific digital instruments, a head-up display and displays for G-force, tire pressure and torque.

The RS4 Avant is priced from £61,625 in the UK.

Read more:

In pictures: Audi's new RS4 Avant

Audi RS4 Avant 2012-2015 review

VW Golf R versus Audi RS4 - comparison

2016 Audi RS4 Avant goes track testing

Audi RS4 (B5) | Used Car Buying Guide

Our Verdict

Audi RS4 Avant

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

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Comments
15

12 September 2017

Like the M3 and M4 are to the M2, this new RS4 (and indeed the RS5) is not massively more powerful than a RS3 and yet weighs a lot more. And more expensive too.

12 September 2017

For me that is a good thing. Why would anyone buy 3/4 series instead of 1/2 series? Most likely because it's bigger (or "more prestigious"). So it makes perfect sense to keep the same principle in performance corner of the range - it was a bit daft that previously if you needed/wanted more performance you had to go for bigger and lardier car. Now if you just want performance you can buy smaller models and save money (and they're easier to park).

12 September 2017

Interesting how electric cars are closing off the front grill, while the vents on combustion-engined cars are getting bigger and bigger. Hopefully, the Mercedes AMG hypercar and this RS4 represent 'peak' vent.

12 September 2017
Hedonist wrote:

Interesting how electric cars are closing off the front grill, while the vents on combustion-engined cars are getting bigger and bigger. Hopefully, the Mercedes AMG hypercar and this RS4 represent 'peak' vent.

The vents in the front are mostly blanked off, they a big for the sake of being big, not for any particular reason or to aid cooling. Spoils the car in my opinion. 

13 September 2017
Citytiger wrote:

Hedonist wrote:

Interesting how electric cars are closing off the front grill, while the vents on combustion-engined cars are getting bigger and bigger. Hopefully, the Mercedes AMG hypercar and this RS4 represent 'peak' vent.

The vents in the front are mostly blanked off, they a big for the sake of being big, not for any particular reason or to aid cooling. Spoils the car in my opinion. 

Not sure how you know the vents are blocked off in a newly released car but here's my experience of Audi's past. Bottom left/right vents will for two intercoolers, middle vent (with exception of number plate) will be for radiator and oil cooler. I don't recommend these vents be blocked off!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

13 September 2017
Yet another VAG engineering fail. Bloody disgraceful.

13 September 2017
jason_recliner wrote:

Yet another VAG engineering fail. Bloody disgraceful.

I have to ask, what do you drive that's engineered so much better?

13 September 2017
jason_recliner wrote:

Yet another VAG engineering fail. Bloody disgraceful.

Not to bad for a 4 wheel drive, turbo'd, V6, Auto, C segment estate, bling'ed up, 444hp, 174 mph 'kin quick car. Certainly not disgraceful, can't think of any estate cars faster and lighter 

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

13 September 2017

It may excite you Greg, but I see yet another bland generic engine, boosted to make cheap power. 

 

It completely lacks the unique qualities that made the V8 special.

 

In 10 years time, it will be the V8s that are cherished, not this anoymous thing.

13 September 2017

True, Boxster's are an example of such. Plus the maintenance on NA engines is far cheaper, none of that nasty plumbing!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

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