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Frankfurt show: Audi RS4 Avant scores twin-turbo V6

RSpect: Audi’s new-generation RS4 Avant is powered by a twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 engine that develops 331kW of power and 600Nm of torque and it can propel the high-performing wagon from 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds.

Zero to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds headlines lighter new, force-fed V6 Audi RS4 Avant


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13 Sep 2017

AUDI has unveiled its fourth-generation RS4 Avant at the Frankfurt motor show overnight as a more spacious alternative to the RS5, utilising the same 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine but trading a bit of performance for an extra dose of practicality.

For the second generation running there will be no RS4 sedan, while the high-performing wagon will arrive in Australia in the second quarter of 2018 priced in the “vicinity” of $150,000 before on-road costs according to an Audi Australia spokesperson – a pricetag that would leave the latest Audi Sport model $7900 cheaper than RS5 Coupe, and $8511 below its Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate rival.

Conversely, however, for the first time this RS4 Avant will enter the Chinese market in what Audi Sport GMbh managing director Stephan Winkelmann described as providing “fresh impetus for growth” in that market “as the only high-performance Avant in its segment” where the C63 Estate does not sell.

The same 331kW power output of the outgoing 4.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 model has been retained for the downsized engine produced in an Audi-Porsche collaboration, and also seen in the latter brand’s new Cayenne and Panamera.

However power is no longer produced at a heady 8250rpm, but over a 5700rpm to 6700rpm band, while 600Nm of torque is produced between 1900rpm and 5000rpm – compared with its successor’s 430Nm from 4000rpm until 6000rpm.

As before, the RS4 Avant is an automatic-only proposition, however the former seven-speed dual-clutch transmission has been swapped out for an eight-speed torque-converter configuration.

The 4.1-second zero to 100km/h claim of the 1790kg RS4 Avant leaves it 0.2s slower than what the same powertrain manages to deliver in the 125kg-lighter RS5 coupe, however it is also 0.6s faster than the 80kg-heavier outgoing RS4.

Meanwhile combined-cycle fuel consumption of 8.8 litres per 100km is 1.9L thriftier than the previous V8-engined Avant.

Once again Audi Sport will offer a mechanical limited-slip function for the back wheels as an option that it calls a rear sport differential.

While the standard RS suspension lowers the RS4 Avant by 7mm compared with an A4 with its optional sports chassis, an option dubbed RS sport suspension package will also be available, encompassing Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) adaptive dampers, carbon-ceramic brakes and a sharper steering set-up.

The package further ramps up the top speed from 250km/h to 280km/h.

Audi Sport used the Nogaro Blue ‘hero’ colour of the original 1999 RS4 Avant to showcase the new model at the Frankfurt show.

The performance division of the Ingolstadt brand also made links between the styling of the RS4 Avant and the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO racecar of which its designers took inspiration from “many motorsports details” such as C-shaped large front air inlets and a wide hexagonal grille with gloss-black honeycomb mesh inserts and ‘quattro’ lower lip badging.

Optional matrix LED headlights further add dark-tinted headlight bezels, while the RS4 Avant pushes its wheelarches out by 30mm compared with a standard A4 Avant to house the chassis’ wider tracks.

Unique rear guards also push out from the rear doors to create a diagonal side character crease, replacing the single line of the standard medium wagon range and melding into dark-tinted tail-lights that also extend further out.

It teams with an RS spoiler and gloss-black diffuser, as well as large, twin oval tailpipes.

While 19-inch forged alloy wheels are standard, 20s will be optional.

Inside, seats with aggressive bolstering are standard, with a honeycomb pattern optional, while the sport steering wheel, gearshifter and illuminated sills all wear RS badging.

The head-up display and Virtual Cockpit cluster further score RS-specific detailing with graphs for torque output, tyre pressure and g-forces.

Various carbon, alloy and gloss-black detailing is further available, while “the Audi exclusive program covers just about any other special request”.

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