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Audi RS4 trimmed up

16 February 2012, 10:04

The next generation of Audi’s hotshot RS4 range has been launched but, sadly, all is not as it seems.

The third generation of Audi’s RS4 Avant continues to combine the potent power from its non-turbo 4.2-litre V8 with (what has shown to be) great everyday practicality. The new RS4 will reach South Africa early in 2013 but, but if you’re keen on ordering a sedan, hold that thought - it will only be available as an Avant station wagon.

The reason, Audi SA explains, is a simple case of numbers. “The volume for theAudi A4 in Europe is (in) the Avant range so the decision was taken to produce only an RS4 Avant.”


Disappointment aside, the RS4 Avant promises some thrilling action. It uses the same high-revving V8 as the RS5 Coupe; the 4.2 FSI generates 331kW at 8250rpm and 430Nm from 4000 to 6000rpm.

This allows the potent wagon to blast from standstill to 100km/h in 4.7sec before topping out at 250km/h (280km/h by special request). Audi says it consumes 11 litres/100km of fuel although the engine’s efficiency is no doubt aided by the standard seven-speed S tronic gearbox.

The dual-clutch transmission comes with a launch control function and, once on the go, can be left to shift inoneof three ways - full auto,via the gear shifter or by flipping paddles on the steering wheel.

As expected, the RS4 comes standard with permanent all-wheel drive with its crown-gear centre differential to vary the distribution of power between the front and rear wheels. Although the default setting biases the rear axle with its 40:60 ratio, up to 70% of the power can be delivered to the front wheels and 85% to the rear.

The RS4’s chassis uses a five-link front suspension and self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension constructed of aluminium while the Avant's body is 20mm lower than the standard wagon. Standard Audi drive select allows the driver to choose from three driving modes (Comfort, Auto, Dynamic) to adjust the steering and throttle input, and transmission shift points. Sport suspension plus with dynamic ride control is an option.

Audi RS4 Avant

TRULY RS: The RS4 Avant shows off a number of RS-specific features,among them its chromed wing mirrors.
New 19”, 10-spoked, forged aluminium rims are standard with Audi offering the option of 20” wheels.


The RS4 Avant’s athleticism is highlighted by its styling which includes high-gloss black calipers, a different take on the ever-present Audi grille, LED daytime running lights and enlarged air intakes. Flared wheel arches and an understated roof spoiler add to the sporty appeal while the twin oval tailpipes of the dual exhaust system cap it all.

The interior is all-black with chrome accents for the switches and buttons, and carbon inlays as standard.

Front sport seats/head restraints have power adjustment although bucket seats and “deluxe” are options. The instrument display includes a special RS menu with a lap-timer and oil thermometer while the instrument cluster’s bezel is finished in piano black.

There’s no shortage of luggage space - the RS4 Avant can swallow 1430 litres.


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