In a not unexpected move seeing as it has already been sighted on numerous occasions online undergoing testing, Audi has pulled the wrappers off of the facelift RS4 Avant a mere two years after it went on sale in Europe.
Following in the wheel tracks of the flagship RS6 Avant that debuted two months ago, the RS4 now takes after its bigger sibling and indeed the RS7 aesthetically with the revisions consisting out of a wider Singleframe grille minus an outline and with a gloss black honeycomb pattern, an updated front bumper, the same bonnet with the three integrated slits that first debuted on the RS5, newly designed LED headlights with optional Matrix LEDs, wider by 30 mm wheel arches and matte black roof rails.
At the rear, the RS4 boasts oval tipped dual exhaust outlets integrated into the diffuser that can be chromed, though with the optional RS sport exhaust system selected, the tips are finished in black with an additional option being a blacked-out finish for the RS4 badge on the bootlid and grille.
Also an option, buyers can opt for three styling packages that finishes the mirror caps, door sills and bumper elements in gloss black, carbon or matte aluminium. Riding on 19-inch forged alloy wheels as standard, the RS4 can optionally be equipped with 20-inch milled alloys finished in matte bronze with the wheels being 275/30 diameter rubber.
Sitting seven millimetres closer to the ground than the diesel-powered S4 Avant thanks to being fitted with the RS Sport suspension as standard, the RS4 can optionally be specified with the RS Sport suspension plus incorporating Dynamic Ride Control that adjusts the dampers depending on road conditions and selected mode of the Drive Select system.
Like the RS6, the Drive Select system in question features five modes;, Comfort, Auto and Dynamic plus the new RS1 and RS2 buttons on the steering wheel that alters the gearbox, engine and suspension more with the latter also adjusting the Electronic Stability Control.
Along with Audi’s dynamic steering system that can be selected as opposed to the regular electromechanical setup, the brakes have been upgraded with the standard steel stoppers utilising a perforated six-piston RS branded black or red painted caliper setup at the front and singe-piston at the rear with the discs measuring 375 mm and 330 mm respectively. Optionally however, the full RS ceramic brakes can be had using the same caliper setup, albeit painted in grey, red or blue, with the front discs measuring 400 mm and the rears also 330 mm.
Inside, the interior is trimmed solely in black but with the option of having the centre console, floor mats, seat belts and armrest finished in red or grey. Unique touches though include RS4 branded illuminated door sills, Alcantara covered RS Sport steering wheel and gear lever complete with red stitching, and the option of red seatbacks.
Joining the S4 Avant, the RS4 now comes with the 10.1-inch MMI infotainment system as standard along with the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit Display instrument cluster that boasts RS specific graphics and readouts, while larger aluminium gear shift paddles, RS Sport seats with an optional honeycomb pattern and a 30 colour ambient lighting package completes the interior. The updates have not effected the RS4’s practicality credentials however with the boot coming in at 495-litres or up to 1 495-litres with the rear seats folded down.
Also left unchanged is the drivetrain where the twin-turbocharged 2.9 TFSI V6 makes 331kW/600Nm, which is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h or up to 280 km/h with the optional RS Dynamic Package ticked, with the 0-100 km/h dash taking 4.1 seconds.
Confirmed to make its public debut this weekend at the season closing round of the DTM at Hockenheim, the RS4 Avant will go on sale in its home market soon after priced at €81 400 (R1 356 486). Audi South Africa has however confirmed that it will touch down on local shores early next year.