One can’t speak of Audi RS-models without the famous Porsche-Audi collaboration, the RS2 Avant. Since then, the Avant, or station wagon, has become synonymous with Audi’s performance offerings, the B5, B7, and B8 Audi RS4s, and of course the RS6 in its various iterations. At the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi lifted the lid on the latest version of the Audi RS4 Avant, based on the B9 generation Audi A4.
The recipe is a simple one – take one Audi A4 Avant and send it to the folks at Audi Sport (formerly quattro), where they then shoehorn a big, powerful engine into the engine bay, upgrade the brakes and chassis, and add not so subtle fender flares, dual tailpipes and general bad-assery to the mix.
For the B9 generation of the Audi RS4 Avant, Audi has ditched the characterful naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 in favour of a twin-turbocharged V6, co-developed with Porsche. The 2.9-litre V6 develops 331kW, matching the old engine’s power outputs, but torque takes a big hike to 600Nm (170Nm more than before), with a broader torque curve to match the inflated figure. Power gets sent to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system and an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Performance is suitably swift, with 0-100km/h taking just 4.1 seconds, and top speed limited to 250km/h. With the optional RS dynamic package, top speed gets increased to 280km/h.
Weighing 1 790kg, the Audi RS4 Avant requires suitable support under cornering. The standard RS sport suspension lowers the Audi RS4 by 7mm over the base A4 with sport suspension. The B9 Audi RS4 Avant rides standard on 19-inch alloys, with 20-inch wheels available as an option.
The interior also benefits from the RS-treatment, including a flat-bottomoed Audi Sport steering wheel, RS-specific sports seats with optional honeycomb pattern, and RS-embossed shift lever. Audi’s virtual cockpit is standard, as is a heads-up display. A range of styling packages are available that include aluminium, carbon fibre, or gloss black detailing and inlays.
Available options include Dynamic Ride Control adaptive suspension, carbon ceramic brakes, and RS-specific variable ratio steering.