The merits of a sharp-suited, business-like Audi Avant and the muscle of a high-revving Audi V8 combine again in classic Jekyll and Hyde fashion in the third generation RS 4. Available exclusively in the attractive and accommodating Avant body style, and expected in the UK in September, the RS 4 contradicts its distinctly business-like first impressions with extreme sub-five-second zero to 62mph pace, 174mph capability and exceptionally tenacious quattro all-wheel-drive handling.
The Audi RS 4 Avant uses the same high-revving, naturally aspirated V8 engine that powers the RS 5 Coupe. The hand-built 4,163 cc unit with its distinctive red-painted cylinder covers produces 450 PS at 8,250 rpm and maximum torque of 430 Nm from 4,000 to 6,000 rpm, and powers the RS 4 Avant from 0 to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds on its way to a governed top speed of 155 mph, which can be increased to 174 mph if required. No less impressively, it achieves all this while at the same time potentially returning up to 25.7mpg according to the combined cycle test.
With its impressive efficiency and long top gear, the standard seven-speed S tronic transmission makes a significant contribution to this uncharacteristic fuel economy. Drivers can let the lightning-fast dual-clutch transmission shift automatically or change gears manually using the selector lever or the paddles on the steering wheel. For explosive starts, drivers can also activate Launch Control, which manages the engagement of the clutch to achieve an optimum starting speed with minimal wheel spin.