Audi has launched an updated version of the RS 4 Avant, with fresh exterior styling, a subtly revised interior and a 444bhp V6 engine
This is the new Audi RS 4 Avant. It’s the hopped-up RS version of the recently facelifted Audi A4 estate, which features an aggressive body kit, a tauter chassis, a tweaked interior and a turbocharged V6 engine. It’ll make its debut on 4 October at this year’s DTM Touring Car Championship final, before going on sale in November.
It’s powered by the same twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine as the pre-facelift RS 4 model, which develops an identical 444bhp and 600Nm of torque. The engine’s power is sent through an eight-speed automatic gearbox to a rear-biased quattro all-wheel-drive system, offering a 0–62mph time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 155mph.
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Under normal driving conditions, the Audi RS 4’s mechanical centre differential splits the engine’s power between the front and rear axles at a 40:60 ratio. However, should it detect a loss of traction at one axle, the quattro system can automatically direct up to 70 percent of the engine’s power to the front wheels and 85 percent to the rear.
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Chassis upgrades over the standard Audi A4 include lowered sports suspension, a reconfigured steering system and a set of perforated disc brakes with six-piston calipers. Buyers can also opt for a set of 400mm ceramic disc brakes, automatic adaptive dampers and Audi’s RS Dynamic package, which raises the RS 4 Avant’s top speed to 174mph.
Like all of Audi’s flagship performance models, the RS 4 Avant has been subject to a rigorous cosmetic overhaul. Revisions include a more aggressive front bumper and splitter, wider side skirts, flared wheel arches, unique 19-inch alloy wheels and a redesigned rear diffuser that houses the brand’s trademark oval exhaust tips.
Elsewhere, there’s a new roof spoiler, fresh black roof rails and a redesigned egg-crate grille finished in gloss black. Optional extras include matte aluminium or carbon fibre exterior trim, Matrix LED headlamps, an active RS sport exhaust system and larger 20-inch alloy wheels. Buyers can also have the car’s “RS” badges removed for a more understated look.
The interior of the facelifted Audi RS 4 hasn’t changed drastically over its predecessor. It retains the outgoing model’s heavily bolstered sports seats, RS-branded centre console, leather gear selector, three-spoke sports steering wheel, aluminium pedal box and digital instrument binnacle.
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The biggest change to the RS 4’s cabin is the new, driver-facing 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which replaces the old model’s rotary-wheel-controlled 8.3-inch unit. Audi says the system offers support for natural language commands, as well as a host of RS-specific features such as a G-force display and a drivetrain temperature monitor.
Audi is yet to release a full price-list for the new RS 4 Avant, but the German brand has confirmed that base-spec models will start from around £65,000 in the UK. From launch, buyers will be offered two trim-levels – an entry-level standard version and a highly specced Vorsprung edition. First deliveries are due to arrive in early 2020.
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