The Audi Sport performance assault for 2020 continues with the unveiling of the new Audi RS 4 Avant.
3 October, 2019
These days the terms ‘practical supercar’ or ‘everyday performance car’ are applied to any number of fast daily drivers by any number of manufacturers. But in the beginning there was the Audi RS 2 Avant.
This high-performance ‘station wagon’ quite simply created a new category of performance car and it is the RS 2 Avant’s spiritual successor, the Audi RS 4 Avant that continues that fine tradition and remains the car most deserving of the title ‘practical supercar’.
The latest incarnation of this extraordinary ‘supercar’ will hit Australian roads in the first half of next year, continuing the mouth-watering assault by Audi Sport that has recently seen the unveiling of the new Audi RS 6 Avant, RS 7 Sportback and the dynamic duo of the RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback.
Fine tuning the RS 4 Avant that was introduced here in 2018, the latest incarnation sports a newly designed front section and interior with the new MMI touch operating system. Its twin-turbo V6 producing 331kW and 600Nm of torque more than qualify it for the supercar moniker – that’s sees off 0 to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds – while still offering accommodation for up to five adults and a luggage compartment with a capacity of 495 litres, which increases to 1495 litres with the rear seats folded down and cargo loaded to the roof.
“Combining consistent sportiness with unlimited everyday usability may seem like an unconventional idea to some, but to us, the high-performance Avant is one of the best concepts of our 25-year history,” says Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH.
The Audi RS 4 Avant that continues that fine tradition and remains the car most deserving of the title ‘practical supercar’
While its understated appearance remains, there is no mistaking that the RS 4 Avant is something out of the ordinary
The RS 4 Avant has a look all its own and while its understated appearance remains, there is no mistaking that it is something out of the ordinary. The wide flat Singleframe grille dominates the front end, which has been designed without a frame and the new eggcrate grille with the RS 4 emblem is inserted directly into the bumper with the large lateral air inlets and vertical flaps.
The shape of the LED headlights of the RS 4 Avant has also been redesigned and the optional matrix LED headlights with darkened bezels further enhance the distinctive look. Large flared wheel arches have always been a feature of the RS 4 models, in this case 30mm wider than the standard A4 Avant to accommodate the large wheels which are 19-inch forged aluminium 265/35 wheels, or 20-inch on request.
The gloss black, matt aluminium and carbon styling packages add individual accents to the inlay in the sill, the exterior mirror housings and the front and rear bumpers. Upon request, the gloss black and carbon styling packages also include the Audi rings and the RS logo in black on the front and rear and the RS badges can be removed completely for a more understated look. The roof rails are designed in matt black as standard. The RS-specific roof edge spoiler and the diffuser insert as well as the chrome exhaust tips of the RS exhaust system are touches that those familiar with the RS family will recognise. The optional RS sport exhaust system with black exhaust tips creates a particularly sporty sound experience which the driver can fine tune with the Audi drive select dynamic handling system.
There are eight paint colours, including the new Turbo blue and Tango red, while the Audi exclusive program includes any number of customised paint finishes to allow customise to give the car their own look.
The interior of the RS 4 Avant is a perfect balance of business and pleasure. Superbly finished to the highest standards of craftsmanship, from the form-fitting sports seats to the use of the finest materials, it is as luxurious as it its functional. Beautiful little touches abound, from the illuminated door sill trims that bear the RS 4 logo (front) to the optional ambient light package that allows up to 30 different colours to highlight the interior trim. The optional RS design package adds colour to the interior, with the RS logo featured on the centre console, the armrests, seat belts and floor mats. The steering wheel, selector lever and knee pads are all covered with Alcantara with red contrasting stitching. In addition to the red, the extended RS design package now also offers accents in grey.
The 10.1-inch MMI touch display is the control centre of the new operating system, with its haptic and acoustic feedback. Here the driver can monitor everything from temperature to g-forces to tyre pressure. In the Audi virtual cockpit, special RS displays likewise provide information on a range of RS-specific information and customers can also opt for a head-up display for even greater versatility.
The RS 4 Avant also boasts natural language control while Audi connect and Audi connect plus provides a host of online services. Safety and driver assistance systems are absolutely state-of-the-art as you would expect with more than 30 systems underlining the all-round characteristics of the high-performance Avant.
The interior of the RS 4 Avant is a perfect balance of business and pleasure. Superbly finished to the highest standards of craftsmanship
Beating at the heart of the RS 4 Avant is the 2.9 TFSI twin-turbo V6
Beating at the heart of the RS 4 Avant is the 2.9 TFSI twin-turbo V6, which at just 182kg is 31kg less than the V8 engine in the previous model from 2012. Its 600Nm of torque is available from 900 to 5000rpm and its top speed can be increased with the RS dynamic package from 250 to 280km/h. But despite the incredible performance, the RS 4 Avant consumes just 9.2 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (208 grams of CO2 per kilometre), which equates to a reduction of 17 percent over the previous model.
The power goes to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system via the sporty eight-speed tiptronic, and in regular driving, the system delivers more power to the rear axle.
Its purely mechanical centre differential directs 60 percent of the torque to the rear axle and 40 percent to the front. If undesired slip occurs at one axle, most of the power is instantly redirected to the other axle – up to 70 percent to the front or up to 85 percent to the rear axle. The high locking values enable a clearly defined torque distribution and highly precise interaction with the control systems of the ESC and wheel-selective torque control.
Wheel-selective torque control is active across a range of surfaces. When driving with a sporty style, it brakes the wheels on the inside of the curve very slightly via the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC), increasing the drive torque on the wheels on the outside of the curve with the higher wheel load. The difference in drive forces turns the car into the bend, allowing it to follow the steering angle precisely. This results in precise, agile and neutral handling.
The optional quattro sport differential with RS-specific tuning ensures an even more dynamic response when accelerating in corners. It distributes the torque between the rear wheels actively and in a targeted manner, improving traction, stability and dynamics. When turning or accelerating in a curve, the torque is predominantly steered toward the rear wheel on the outside of the curve – eliminating even the slightest hint of understeer. In case of oversteer, the sport differential stabilises the vehicle by directing torque to the wheel on the inside of the curve.
This is enhanced by the five-link suspension at the front and rear which sees the RS 4 Avant sit seven millimetres lower than the S4 model. The RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) is also available, further refining ride and handling particularly at speed, effectively eliminating body roll and giving the RS 4 Avant a precise, surefooted feel through even the tightest, high-speed bends.
The driver can influence the damper response on three levels and and personalise the driving experience using the Audi drive select. This means that the RS sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) ensures a markedly comfortable rolling motion in the ‘comfort’ setting while in ‘dynamic’, the RS 4 really hunkers down at speed.
RS-specific dynamic steering is available as an alternative to the standard electromechanical power steering, varying the steering ratio by up to 100 percent depending on the driving speed, steering angle and selected mode in the Audi drive select handling system. This gives greater manoeuvrability at low speeds and greater stability and responsiveness as speeds climb.
The driver can influence the damper response on three levels and and personalise the driving experience using the Audi drive select
The combination of unbridled performance and handling, married to ultimate luxury and appointment results in an irresistible package
The driver can create their personal driving experience via the standard Audi drive select dynamic handling system. There are five profiles – comfort, auto, dynamic and the customisable, RS-specific RS1 and RS2 modes. The Audi drive select dynamic handling system influences the engine and transmission management, the power steering, the suspension, the dynamic steering, the quattro sport differential, the engine sound and the characteristics of the automatic air conditioning. The customisable RS2 mode exists specifically to influence the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) quickly at the push of a button.
Stopping power is supplied by big perforated composite disks (375mm front and 330mm rear) with six-piston calipers with RS logos painted in black, or optionally in red. Upon request, fade-resistant RS ceramic brakes operate at the front axle with 400mm perforated discs.
As always, the combination of unbridled performance and handling, married to ultimate luxury and appointment results in an irresistible package. That the RS 4 Avant is just as happy on the race track, a mountain road or a shopping run is testament to its extraordinary versatility. That it carries the whole family and their luggage, yet produces performance figures that boggle the mind, demonstrates yet again why it is the ultimate supercar for the everyday.
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