An RS icon returns

BY Marcus Lim

New Audi RS4 Avant debuts at IAA 2017

Audi RS models have always been created with the recipe of impressive power output and everyday utility, from the original RS2 to the current RS6 Avant. Consistent with past model, the new RS4 is available only in Avant form, and is powered by a newly developed 2.9-litre bi-turbo V6 TFSI engine producing 450 hp and 600 Nm of torque.

The aggressive styling of the new RS4 Avant was inspired by motorsport details found on the 1989 Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO — the front end is defined by massive air intakes with the RS honeycomb structure and a wide Singleframe grille.

From the side, 19-inch forged aluminum wheels and the RS roof edge spoiler create an unmistakable profile. Around the rear end, an RS-specific diffuser insert and the RS exhaust system’s large oval tailpipes combine with the quattro fender blisters (adding 30mm to the car’s width) to give the RS4 Avant a distinctively sporty look.

A black interior emphasizes the RS4 Avant’s sporty character, featuring RS sport seats available with an optional honeycomb pattern. Additionally, the flat-bottomed sport steering wheel, shift gate and illuminated door sill trims are all adorned with the RS emblem. In the Audi virtual cockpit and head-up display, the driver can refer to RS-specific displays that indicate the g-forces, tyre pressures and torque.

Audi’s new high-performance 2.9-litre V6 TFSI engine has been newly developed as a replacement to the outgoing 4.2-litre V8, and debuted on the new Audi RS5 Coupé. Working in tandem with the permanent quattro all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed tiptronic transmission, it propels the RS4 Avant to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds, to a limited top speed of 250km/h (280km/h with the RS dynamic package).

Standard-fit RS sport suspension allows the RS4 Avant to sit 7mm lower than the regular A4. Optional equipment include RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), ceramic brakes and RS-specific dynamic steering, which allows drivers to customise their personal driving experience.

Order books for the new RS4 Avant open at the end of September, and will arrive at European dealers in early 2018.