Audi announced that in its next generation of RS-badged A4s, the new RS4 is restricted to just a five-door Avant bodystyle. There are mainly three reasons. The first is that hot Avant models have sold more units than saloon versions throughout history. Secondly, the S5 Sportback provides a performance four-door alternative.
Thirdly, the market is distancing itself from hot four-doors. Stephan Riel, the boss of Audi’s quattro division, said that the RS4 Avant will be continued. This makes up the majority of sales in Europe but its research indicates that the market for a saloon version has become quite limited.
This decision is also in line with Audi’s heritage of hot estates. In three-generations only the last model included an RS4 saloon. The new RS4 Avant, which will make its debut at Geneva, is fitted with the RS5’s 4.2-litre V8, which has an output of 444bhp and 317lbft. This same engine had been used on the last-gen RS4, but its output was lower by 28 bhp.
A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is available as an option to the RS4. It could be used instead of the standard six-speed manual. It comes with the quattro four-wheel drive system, which is the newest version with torque adjustable throughout the rear-axle.
The braking system now has the new ‘wave-style’ discs. Audi discarded the conventional design. Instead, small indents could be seen on the outer edges of the discs that when combined, result to a 1.5kg weight reduction at each corner. This then reduces unsprung mass.