Just as we expected, the official details of the new Audi RS4 Avant arrived just hours after the leaked photo of the new RS4 yesterday. And it’s all much as expected.
The new RS4 – which will be an Avant only to differentiate it from the RS5 – comes with the same 4.2 litre V8 as the RS5, which means 444bhp and 317lb/ft of torque.
Despite the fact the RS4 must weigh more than the RS5 (Audi hasn’t given us a weight for the RS4) the performance is just 0.1 seconds behind the RS5, with a 0-62mph of 4.7 seconds. Top speed is 155mph, unless you dig in to the options list for a performance tweak when that pushes up to 174mph.
Drive from the V8 goes to all four wheels through Audi’s seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box, which comes with a manual mode and has launch control. The chassis is a fettled version of the standard A4 Avant with a 20mm ride height reduction and liberal use of aluminium.
You can dig in to the options list again to fit the RS4 with a Sport rear diff, which will let the quattro system split power between the rear wheels as well as front and back. Adaptive damping is standard and the RS4 also has a clever steering trick that applies slight opposite lock when you’re flying through a bend for more stable handling.
On the cosmetic front, the new RS4 gets the usual Audi tweaks to differentiate it from its lesser siblings. The grill gets a matt aluminium frame and gloss black honeycomb mesh. The front bumper get more aggressive and incorporates bigger air intakes and a splitter, and the headlights are LED.
At the back there’s a small tailgate spoiler, new bumper and big oval tail pipes. The 19″ alloys are standard but 20″ are optional, and the RS4 gets 365mm steel discs with 380mm carbon ceramic an option.
Audi have given us no prices for the new RS4 Avant, although it would be logical it would arrive in the same ballpark as the Mercedes C63 AMG Estate, so expect the RS4 to cost mid-£50k when it arrives in the UK in the Autumn.
2012 Audi RS4 Avant Photo Gallery
(36 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)