Geneva show: 444bhp Audi RS 4 Avant is coming


A few weeks ago we (well, I) wrote a story claiming rumours of a new RS 4 were a steaming pile of RS. Thankfully there was also a plea to Audi to surprise us with a shiny new car. Audi has done just that. We are pleased.

You see, a new RS 4 is a special car. Like a hammer hidden in a stuffed bear it looks nice and... A4-ish but delivers devastating performance. The last generation RS 4 offered 414bhp from its 4.2-litre V8, this one shares the RS 5's evolution of the very same engine and packs a 444bhp punch.Thanks to its unnecessarily powerful lump it'll hit 62mph from rest in just 4.7 seconds and will go on (in no time at all, we imagine) to a limited 155mph top speed. Wow.

In true Audi RS fashion, the new RS 4 looks rather subtle. It doesn't scream "I'VE GOT A HAMMER AND WANT TO USE IT ON YOUR FACE" like other performance saloons (Mercedes, we're staring at you).

It gets the now standard 'RS' grille, Group B Quattro inspired boxy wheel arches, giant front air intakes, rather spiffy alloys, oval exhausts and some silver details outside as well as some dashes of carbon fibre and plenty of badges to remind you of the RS 4's hidden capabilities on the inside.

It's bigger and wider than a normal A4 Avant, but that's to be expected from its MASSIVE arches.

Under its boxy skin there are plenty of very clever, very oily reasons as to why its so capable at launching itself into the distance. A jazzy crown-lock differential and torque vectoring make sure the power is where it needs to be at any given time. Stopping is handled by a set of gargantuan standard brakes or a set of carbon ceramic stoppers – might be worth speccing those if you're known to drive a little briskly.

There are eight colour combos for the RS 4 – one solid, one metallic, four pearl effect hues and a pair of crystal effect choices.

There is no manual option for the RS 4, it's S-Tronic-double-clutch-brilliance only. It's a shame to see the three-pedal option die, really...

No word on prices yet, but expect it to cost £lots. We'll find out a bit more about it at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The price differential will be worth it over the S4 though, we're sure.

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