2012 Geneva Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- Audi has released the first photos and information on the latest RS4 Avant.
- The RS4 will only be offered as a wagon.
- Its 4.2-liter V8 generates 450 horsepower and runs through a seven-speed S-tronic dual clutch gearbox.
INGOLSTADT, Germany — Less than a week after revealing the TT RS Plus, Audi has pulled the wraps off an aggressively styled, third-generation RS4.
Following the example of the first generation introduced in 2000, the new go-fast load lugger will be produced in Avant (wagon) body style only. The previously popular sedan body style is being discontinued; a strategy Audi sources hint will likely mean the car won't make it to the U.S. market.
The decision not to offer the new RS4 in sedan body style comes after Audi boss Rupert Stadler gave the greenlight for an expansion of the RS5 lineup. That's expected to include a face-lifted version of today's coupe together with new convertible and Sportback models — all of which are likely to be introduced by the end of 2012. The upcoming RS5 Sportback flaunts four frameless doors and large liftback style tailgate — a layout Ingolstadt sources have told Edmunds.com is being looked upon to attract typical performance sedan buyers.
The RS4 Avant will make its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show in early March. It uses the same mechanical package as the existing RS5 coupe, including its 4.2-liter V8 engine. With 450 horsepower at a high 8,250 rpm, the naturally aspirated unit delivers 30 hp more than the second-generation RS4, which used the same engine in a lesser state of tune. Torque remains the same as before at 317 pound-feet, developed on a band of revs stretching from 4,000 to 6,000 rpm.
The engine's reserves are sent through a standard seven-speed dual clutch S-Tronic gearbox to all four wheels via Audi's Torsen-based Quattro all-wheel-drive system. It's set up to bias the power delivery with a 40:60 front-to-rear split while the German carmaker's latest torque vectoring feature is also used to add increased cornering ability.
Audi claims zero to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds, making the new RS4 Avant some 0.2 second faster up the strip than the second-generation model despite increases in dimensions and weight. It's also just 0.1 second outside the time quoted for the soon-to-be-face-lifted RS5 coupe. Top speed is put at a maximum 174 mph.
The RS4 Avant is set apart from the lesser 333-hp supercharged 3.0-liter S4 Avant by a unique body kit. Included is a new look grille, a larger front bumper with sizeable air ducts and an aluminum look splitter. There are also LED headlamps, flared wheel arches resembling those on the original Quattro models, wider sills, aluminum look mirror housings, tailgate spoiler and re-profiled rear bumper with aluminum look decoration, a full width diffuser and slots for the a pair of large chromed oval tailpipes.
Edmunds.com says: Looks like the U.S. is getting shortchanged this time around when it comes to getting its hands on the latest RS4.