Automotive

Downsizing doesn't slow the Audi RS 4 Avant

Downsizing doesn't slow the Au...
The RS 4 on show at the Frankfurt Motor Show
The RS 4 on show at the Frankfurt Motor Show
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A peek under the skin of the Audi RS 4 Avant 
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A peek under the skin of the Audi RS 4 Avant 
The drivetrain on the Audi RS 4 Avant 
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The drivetrain on the Audi RS 4 Avant 
Under the skin of the Audi RS 4 Avant 
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Under the skin of the Audi RS 4 Avant 
A breakdown of the drivetrain in the Audi RS 4 Avant 
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A breakdown of the drivetrain in the Audi RS 4 Avant 
Adaptive suspension is optional on the Audi RS 4 Avant 
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Adaptive suspension is optional on the Audi RS 4 Avant 
Carbon ceramic brakes are optional on the RS 4 Avant 
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Carbon ceramic brakes are optional on the RS 4 Avant 
The turbos in the Audi RS 4 Avant are nestled in the bank of the V6
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The turbos in the Audi RS 4 Avant are nestled in the bank of the V6
A top-down view of the Audi RS 4 Avant's powertrain 
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A top-down view of the Audi RS 4 Avant's powertrain 
There are two massive exhaust pipes on the Audi RS 4 Avant 
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There are two massive exhaust pipes on the Audi RS 4 Avant 
The grille on the Audi RS 4 is finished in gloss black 
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The grille on the Audi RS 4 is finished in gloss black 
Audi uses clever lighting to welcome the driver and passenger to the RS 4
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Audi uses clever lighting to welcome the driver and passenger to the RS 4
The RS 4 Avant has a twin-turbo V6
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The RS 4 Avant has a twin-turbo V6
There are swollen wheel arches on the RS 4 Avant 
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There are swollen wheel arches on the RS 4 Avant 
The Audi RS 4 Avant 
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The Audi RS 4 Avant 
All the materials in the Audi RS 4 Avant should be of the highest quality 
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All the materials in the Audi RS 4 Avant should be of the highest quality 
Special kickplates in the Audi RS 4 Avant 
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Special kickplates in the Audi RS 4 Avant 
Under the hood of the Audi RS 4 Avant 
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Under the hood of the Audi RS 4 Avant 
Big, gloss-black exhaust on the Audi RS 4 Avant 
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Big, gloss-black exhaust on the Audi RS 4 Avant 
Big wheels on the Audi RS 4 Avant 
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Big wheels on the Audi RS 4 Avant 
The Audi RS 4 Avant has lots of space for gear in the trunk
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The Audi RS 4 Avant has lots of space for gear in the trunk
The Audi RS 4 doesn't lack for presence
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The Audi RS 4 doesn't lack for presence
The Audi RS 4 Avant has a big singleframe grille 
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The Audi RS 4 Avant has a big singleframe grille 
The new Audi RS 4 Avant 
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The new Audi RS 4 Avant 
The RS 4 Avant has an eight-speed automatic gearbox
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The RS 4 Avant has an eight-speed automatic gearbox
The new Audi RS 4 Avant 
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The new Audi RS 4 Avant 
The new Audi RS 4 Avant 
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The new Audi RS 4 Avant 
The blue on the Audi RS 4 Avant is inspired by the RS 2 
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The blue on the Audi RS 4 Avant is inspired by the RS 2 
The new Audi RS 4 Avant is powered by a twin-turbo V6
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The new Audi RS 4 Avant is powered by a twin-turbo V6
The giant air intakes on the Audi RS 4 Avant feed the twin-turbo engine
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The giant air intakes on the Audi RS 4 Avant feed the twin-turbo engine
The RS 4 is powered by a twin-turbo V6
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The RS 4 is powered by a twin-turbo V6
Behind the wheel of the Audi RS 4 Avant 
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Behind the wheel of the Audi RS 4 Avant 
The Audi Virtual Cockpit is standard in the RS 4 
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The Audi Virtual Cockpit is standard in the RS 4 
Usable rear seats in the Audi RS 4 Avant 
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Usable rear seats in the Audi RS 4 Avant 
Unique bucket seats in the Audi RS 4 Avant 
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Unique bucket seats in the Audi RS 4 Avant 
The RS 4 on show at the Frankfurt Motor Show
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The RS 4 on show at the Frankfurt Motor Show
The RS 4 on show in Frankfurt 
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The RS 4 on show in Frankfurt 
View gallery - 36 images

Audi has whipped the covers off a new RS 4 Avant at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Gone are the old naturally aspirated V8 and dual-clutch gearbox, and in their place is a downsized turbo V6 and torque converter. Don't think the Audi has gone soft, though. The all-wheel drive RS 4 should still give BMW M3 and AMG C63 owners nightmares.

That's right, the new RS 4 swaps the free-breathing engine from the current car for a more efficient, torquier new turbocharged V6 making 450 hp (331 kW) of power – the same you get from the current engine. You get a whopping 600 Nm (443 lb-ft) of torque in the blown V6, though, which is 170 Nm (125 lb-ft) more than the old V8 offered.

Rather than sticking with a dual-clutch gearbox, Audi has fitted a eight-speed torque converter. Theoretically, losing two cylinders and whip-crack DSG upshifts should make a car slower, but the new RS 4 Avant is actually 0.6 seconds faster to 62 mph (100 km/h) than its predecessor. Thank the extra torque for that one. Although the car is electronically limited to 155 mph (250 km/h), an optional package boosts that to 174 mph (280 km/h).

The new Audi RS 4 Avant 
The new Audi RS 4 Avant 

The car rides on sports suspension that's 7 mm (0.3 in) lower than standard, while ticking the right boxes on the option list gets adaptive suspension, carbon ceramic brakes and an RS dynamic steering system. Gearshift ferocity, throttle response and steering weight can all be altered through the Audi Drive Select button.

Inside, the basic Audi A4 Avant interior has been spruced up with quilted sport seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and carbon fiber trim. The clever Virtual Cockpit is standard, and allows drivers to keep tabs on their g-force, engine outputs and lap times. Given it's an Audi, expect all the buttons to be beautifully damped and all the panels to match up nicely.

The Audi Virtual Cockpit is standard in the RS 4 
The Audi Virtual Cockpit is standard in the RS 4 

The exterior follows a predictable (and attractive) formula. The wheel arches have been pumped up, the grille is finished in gloss black, there are bigger wheels and two drainpipe-sized exhaust pipes down back. It sounds formulaic when written down, but a quick flick through our gallery should be enough to dispel those fears. It looks fantastic, especially in the shade of blue you see here.

Pricing will start at €79,800 (US$95,600). The RS 4 Avant was revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where New Atlas is on the ground covering all the action. Stay tuned for the latest.

Source: Audi

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