The new Audi RS4 Avant returns
The much-loved Audi RS4 Avant is back after an unveiling of the new fourth-generation model at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show.
Set for delivery to most markets during the second quarter of 2018, the new model adopts the RS5 Coupe's turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine developed in a joint venture between Audi and sister-firm Porsche.
With 444bhp and 443lb ft, the new unit delivers the same amount of power but a significant 125lb ft more torque than the previous RS4 Avant’s naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 petrol unit.
It is also 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, the RS4 Avant has a power-to-weight ratio of 249bhp per tonne.
The new engine is married to 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 – 0.6sec quicker than its predecessor.
Top speed is nominally limited to 155mph, but the optional RS dynamic package 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. The old model was rated at 26.4mpg and 249g/km.
“The RS4 is our icon,” said Stephan Winkelmann, Audi Sport CEO. “It blends power with superlative utility.”
Setting the new RS4 Avant apart from the S4 Avant is a series of unique design touches inspired by the detailing of the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO race car.
These 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.
Moving 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.
Audi RS4 Avant: interior
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, the RS4 gets RS sport seats, a flat bottomed RS multi-function steering wheel, unique RS shift gate trim and illuminated RS door sill trims. Standard spec for the RS4 Avant also includes RS-specific digital instruments, a head-up display and displays for G-force, tyre pressure and torque.
The RS4 Avant is priced €79,800 (US$95,900 & £72,500) in Germany. UK & US pricing has yet to be announced.