Audi RS 4 Avant returning
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22nd February, 2012
- V8 engine with 331 kW, 430 Nm
- High-performance brakes with wave discs
- Unique combination of dynamics and everyday practicality
A modern classic from Audi is making a comeback: the third-generation RS 4 Avant combines potent performance with a
high level of everyday practicality. The 4.2-litre V8 produces 331 kW; the seven-speed S tronic and quattro permanent
all-wheel drive transfers that power to the road.
The Audi RS 4 Avant uses the same high-revving, normally aspirated V8 engine that powers the RS 5 Coupe. The 4,163 cc
engine produces 331 kW at 8,250 rpm. Its maximum torque of 430 Nm is available from 4,000 to 6,000 rpm. The responsive
V8 with its red-painted cylinder head covers accelerates the RS 4 Avant from zero to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds on its way
to a governed top speed of 250 km/h (where legal). This can be increased to 280 km/h upon request.
Hand-built at Audi’s plant in Györ, Hungary, the 4.2 FSI engine combines its impressive power with exemplary
efficiency, consuming on average less than 11 litres of fuel per 100 km.
With its high efficiency and long top gear, the standard seven-speed S tronic also contributes to the vehicle’s good
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 at an optimum starting speed and minimum wheel slip.
Top traction: quattro drive with crown-gear centre differential
Like every RS model from Audi, the RS 4 Avant comes standard with quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The 'heart' of
this system is the crown-gear centre differential. This compact and lightweight component can vary the distribution of
power between the front and rear axles immediately, smoothly and over a wide range, with up to 70 per cent flowing to the
front or as much as 85 per cent to the rear. The default 40:60 ratio of the rear-biased configuration ensures sporty
The self-locking crown-gear centre differential works together with the torque vectoring system, which acts on all
four wheels. If the load on the inside wheel is reduced too much while the car is being driven dynamically, the torque
vectoring system brakes it slightly before unintended slip can occur. Audi offers the sport differential, which uses two
superposition stages to actively distribute the power between the rear wheels, as an option.
Aluminium in abundance: the chassis
The chassis of the Audi RS 4 Avant is a very complex design. Many components of the five-link front suspension and the
self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension are made of aluminium. The new speed-dependent power steering is a highly
efficient electromechanical system with a direct steering ratio for highly precise road feel. It helps the driver stay on
course by making slight steering corrections when braking on surfaces with different amounts of grip.
The taut RS set-up lowers the body by 20 millimetres (0.79 in) compared with the Audi A4 Avant. New, polished 19-inch,
ten-spoke forged aluminium wheels shod with 265/35-series tyres are standard. Audi also offers 20-inch wheels with
265/30-series tyres. These are available in a new, polished, titanium-look, five-V-spoke design plus two additional
variants in the five-arm rotor design.
Mounted behind the large wheels are internally vented wave disc brakes measuring 365 millimetres in diameter up front.
The steel friction rings with their wave-like outer contour are perforated and connected to the aluminium brake caps via
pins. This concept reduces tensions, quickly dissipates heat and prevents transmission of temperature peaks. The new
shape of the friction rings shaves a total of roughly three kilogrammes off the unsprung weight.
The callipers are painted high-gloss black; the front callipers have eight pistons each and sport RS logos. The ESP
stabilisation system has a Sport mode and can be fully deactivated. For the front axle, Audi offers the option of 380
millimetre carbon fibre ceramic discs and six-piston callipers in anthracite grey. The ceramic brakes are especially
lightweight, robust and durable.
The Audi drive select driving dynamics system is among the standard equipment for the RS 4 Avant. With it, the driver
can switch between three modes – comfort, auto and dynamic – to determine the characteristics of the steering, the
seven-speed S tronic and the throttle valve. Audi drive select can even vary the sound of the exhaust system,
double-declutching when downshifting in dynamic mode. If the car is equipped with an Audi navigation system, a largely
driver-configurable custom mode is also available.
In addition to the sport differential, another component available for Audi drive select is dynamic steering. It
varies its steering ratio by nearly 100 per cent depending on the speed driven and automatically countersteers slightly
at the cornering limit for even more precise and stable handling.
Another particularly dynamic damping technology available as an option from Audi is the sport suspension plus with
Dynamic Ride Control (DRC). Oil lines and a central valve connect diagonally opposed pairs of shock absorbers. During
fast cornering, the system boosts the stabilisation of the front outside wheel, for example. The damping characteristic
of the sport suspension plus is variable, with a choice of three settings available via Audi drive select.
Athletic: the exterior design
The exterior design flaunts the athletic character of the RS 4 Avant. The hexagonal single-frame grille is set in a
frame with a matt aluminium-look finish; its honeycomb insert is finished in high-gloss anthracite. LED daytime running
lights encircle the xenon plus units like a clasp in the wedge-shaped headlights. The air flows through large openings
divided by cross bars and embedded in a distinctive bumper featuring a splitter edge like on a race car.
When viewed from the side, the chiseled side sill caps and flared wheel wells catch the eye. The flared rear side
elements with sharp horizontal upper edges are a nod to that all-wheel drive pioneer from 1980, the Audi quattro. The
side mirror housings and trim strips have a matt aluminium-look finish, and a discrete roof spoiler at the back ensures
the necessary downforce.
The distinctive bumpers and the two oval tailpipe caps of the dual exhaust system dominate the rear end and are
integrated into an upturned diffuser. Audi also offers a sport exhaust system with a voluminous sound and black caps.
Elegant light strips adorn the LED rear lights.
The Audi RS 4 Avant is 20 millimetres longer and 24 millimetres wider than the A4 Avant, but 20 millimetres lower. A
choice of eight colours is available: one solid and one metallic finish, four pearl-effect colours and the two specially
pigmented crystal-effect colours, Prism Silver and Panther Black. The extensively clad underbody integrates air vents
for the seven-speed S tronic and the front brakes.
Sporty black: the interior
The interior of the RS 4 Avant is clad completely in black, with the exception of the roofliner, which is optionally
available in Moon Silver. Chrome clasps subtly accentuate switches and control elements. Carbon inlays are standard,
with brushed matt aluminium, Aluminium Race, black piano finish or a light stainless steel mesh available as options.
The standard heated front sport seats with integrated head restraints are power adjustable and covered in a
combination of black leather and Alcantara. Fine Nappa leather in either Black or Moon Silver accentuated with Stone
Grey piping is optionally available. Other options include bucket seats or luxurious, climate-controlled deluxe seats
with a ventilation function. The thick ring of the leather multifunction sport steering wheel is flattened at the bottom,
and the shift paddles mounted on the back of it sport an aluminium-look finish.
The driver information system with colour display includes an RS menu with a lap timer and an oil thermometer. Both it
and the MMI monitor display a special RS welcome screen when the car is started.
The instrument cluster bezel shines with a piano finish, and the design of the selector knob of the seven-speed S
tronic is unique to the RS. Typical of all RS vehicles, the door openers are two delicate bars. The pedals, the footrest,
the air vents, the shift paddles on the steering wheel, the MMI buttons and other controls shine in an aluminium-look
finish. Aluminium inserts adorn the door sill trims, which are accentuated with RS 4 badges.
Audi offers exclusive high-grade leather packages for all seating options, including a design package with honeycomb
quilting for the RS 4 bucket seats. Rounding out the list of optional equipment is a broad range of state-of-the-art
driver assistance and communication systems, including the Bluetooth on-line car phone that connects the RS 4 Avant with
Options for the luggage compartment, which offers up to 1,430 litres of cargo space, include a rail system with load
securing set and a power hatch.
The Audi RS 4 Avant is planned to arrive in Australia in the first quarter of 2013. Pricing and specification details
will be announced closer to launch.