Car news

16 February 2012

New Audi RS4 revealed

It’s back: Audi’s V8 Q-car returns with 444bhp, four-wheel-drive and a big boot. Labradors beware

Vijay Pattni
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It's been three years since Audi's RS4 went MIA from Ingolstadt's line-up. Be thankful for today then, because it has now returned in an attempt to take its rivals back to school. Welcome the new Audi RS4 Avant.

Yes, it's launching in estate guise first, and like its RS5 Coupe sibling, gets Audi's hand-built 4.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine. That means 444bhp and 430Nm of torque being fed through Audi's quattro system; a system with a self-locking crown-gear centre differential capable of attributing up to 70 per cent of the power up front, or as much as 85 to the rear. Audi has configured the new RS4 Avant to have a 40:60 rear-biased setup for some sideways hoonery, which sounds promising. We're just hopeful that the RS4's new power steering system and cross-linked dampers will improve the RS5's occasionally nuggety ride and steering.

Anyway, Audi claims a 0-100kph sprint of just 4.7 seconds and a derestricted top speed of 280kph, along with a claimed 10.9kpl. The whole car sits 20mm lower than the standard A4 estate on 19in forged aluminium alloys (20in are optional, naturally), that don't really hide 365mm lightweight, vented ‘wave' disc brakes with six-piston calipers. Sufficient stopping power to unsettle items of confectionary you may have stored in the rear.

The standard-fit Audi drive select varies the seven-speed ‘box and throttle valves through three modes, as well as altering the sound of the exhaust. Good. Inside you'll find a black interior with carbon inlays and brushed matte aluminium, heated front sports seats, driver information system with colour display - including an RS menu with lap timer - and, naturally, the mind-boggling complement of Audi's options list.

Tags: a4, audi, s4, rs4

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