The new Audi RS4 Avant (the only body style available) will cost from £54,925 when it hits UK showrooms this autumn.
The hot load-hauler is powered by the firm’s 4.2-litre V8 – the same unit as used in the RS5 – mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The naturally aspirated motor serves up 444bhp at 8250rpm and 317lb ft of torque between 4000 and 6000rpm. Audi claims an average fuel economy figure of 26.4mpg.
By contrast, the RS4’s £57,775 Mercedes C63 AMG rival develops 451bhp and 442lb ft torque from its 6.2-litre V8, while achieving 23.2mpg on the combined cycle.
Top speed for both models is limited to 155mph. The Audi will sprint to 62mph from standing in 4.7sec compared with 4.6sec for the Mercedes.
A new addition to the RS4 is Audi’s new speed-dependent electromechanical steering, which automatically makes small steering adjustments when braking on uneven surfaces.
Standard features of the RS4 Avant include 19-inch 10-spoke alloys, DVD-based sat-nav, Bluetooth, carbonfibre touches and leather and Alcantara sports seats. For £1420, buyers can tick the Technology Package Advanced box on the options list, which adds HDD navigation, adaptive cruise control and a reversing camera.
Customers can also opt for the RS4’s optional Sport Package, which costs £2250. Included in the pack are larger 20-inch titanium-look alloys (up from 19s), a sports exhaust system and Audi's dynamic ride control.