The last generation Audi RS4 was one of the brand’s darlings. It handled immaculately and is endowed with phenomenal power from its sonorous V8. It was also built like a bank vault with the four-ringed brand’s fastidious attention to detail.
When it was discontinued in 2009, it left a void that sadly hasn’t been filled, until now! The RS4 is back, as an Avant – Audi speak for wagon. It is powered by the same 4.2-litre V8 as found on the RS5, with 450hp (336kW) at 8,250rpm and 430Nm from 4,000 – 6,000rpm. This is enough to catapult the sports wagon from 0 – 100km/h in 4.7 seconds, and on to a limited top speed of 250km/h. If you ask nicely, Audi will remove the electronic limiter which will enable the car to top 280km/h.
The engine is mated to a 7-speed S-tronic transmission and drives all four wheels. The Quattro system is replete with self-locking crown-gear centre differential on call.
Naturally, the RS rides 20mm lower compared to the standard A4 Avant on sports suspensions. It can be equipped with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) – in which oil lines and a central valve connect diagonally-opposed pairs of shock absorbers. The electronic damping system has a choice of 3 settings, selectable via Audi’s Drive Select, which is standard on the RS4.
Like most of its rivals, the RS4 comes with dynamic steering, which varies its steering ratio by nearly 100%, depending on the speed. It will even automatically counter-steers slightly at the cornering apex for more precise and stable handling. The wagon’s electronic nanny can also be switched off completely for those spirited weekend drives on the track.
The RS4 Avant can be differentiated from its humbler siblings by flared wheel arches, matte aluminium finish on the wing mirrors and the hexagonal single-frame grille – an RS trademark. At the back, there’s a discrete roof spoiler and a pair of huge oval tailpipes on either side of the diffuser. If however, you like your soundtrack loud, there’s an optional sport exhaust system with a more voluminous sound and black caps.
The makeover is completed with polished 19-inch, 10-spoke forge aluminium wheels wearing chunky 265/35 series rubbers. There’s also an optional 20-inch titanium look, 5-V-spoke design wrappred in 265/30 tyres.
Lurking behind those front wheels are massive 365mm 8-piston callipers painted in high-gloss black, sporting RS logos. A 380mm carbon ceramic brake can be had as an option, along with 6-piston callipers in anthracite gray.
As befitting the cars sporty nature, the interior can be had in any colour of your choice – as long as it’s black! A mix of chrome, brushed matte aluminium and carbon accents are applied to the dash, air vents, flappy paddles behind the steering and trims to liven things up slightly.
The sports bucket seats are draped in a combination of black leather and Alcantara. They can however be swapped with optional climate-controlled deluxe ventilated seats.
The new Audi RS4 Avant will reach showrooms in the 3rd quarter of this year.