2018 Audi RS4: Spacious and Stunning
By Zlatan Stankovic on September 19, 2017
Powered with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, the Audi S4 was a little underwhelming which was unusual for Audi considering they have a solid track record in the auto industry. Compared to the previous model, it was less responsive and perhaps even less exciting. However, we all noted how there was room for improvement in the future. Now, after the Frankfurt Auto Show, we seem to have reached ‘the future’ because the Audi RS4 Avant has arrived and it’s taking the world by storm. Unfortunately, there aren't any plans to offer the model in the US but this doesn’t stop us from getting excited at all.
Mechanically, this RS4 Avant is said to be very close to the RS5 and the 2.9-liter V6 engine (450 horsepower) is one of the many shared features; this itself is a twin variation of the single-turbo engine found in the S4 sedan. With the engine partnership Audi now has with Porsche, the relationship seems to be growing ever stronger with Porsche working on all V8 models while Audi deals with the V6 models. Not only will you find this engine here, you’ll also come across it in the new Cayenne S as well as the Porsche Panamera S.
More than just power, the 443 lb-ft torque provides up to 5,000rpm and this power is distributed to all four wheels using a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission (sourced from ZF). After a long and successful life, it seems as though the manual transmission era at Audi is now over and they’re doing it at a time where no sacrifices have to be made. Instead, the RS4 will offer power in abundance and an exhilarating ride.
Although the engine won’t quite compete with the naturally aspirated V8 we’ve seen previously from Audi, the twin-turbo V6 can certainly fill the boots well and the additional drive modes will fill the cabin with all the right noises. In just over four seconds, this beast reaches 63mph and, while the top speed is limited to 155mph, there is additions (extra cost) you can make to increase this by 19mph.
If we use the RS5 as a base, the RS4 will be just as responsive in handling despite the 19-inch wheels and standard suspension. If you want a little extra, you can request 20-inch wheels and you can also find optional dynamic steering, mode-adjustable suspension, and ceramic brakes. With this combination, performance will only get better even if it does come at a weight of just under 4,000 pounds. However, we should note the added comfort equipment and security and the fact it’s around 180 pounds lighter than its predecessor.
When it comes to bodywork and the interior, the model has been upgraded somewhat with the wider front and rear being most the prominent changes. Also, it offers two fat oval tailpipes, a rear diffuser, and a roof spoiler. Inside, it’s a wash of black with beautiful accents of aluminum, RS-specific gauges, and carbon trim. Outside, you can choose the Nogaro Blue that became so prominent in the RS2 Avant.
Now, the all-important detail, can we all afford one? At $95,000, it’s certainly respectable and it’s expected to reach dealers towards the beginning of 2018. In fact, it comes in under the RS5 coupe and the added features and space make it all worthwhile…for consumers in Europe. As we said, the RS4 is extremely unlikely to come to the US despite not being ruled out completely. Of course, we’ll keep our fingers crossed and we’ll keep you updated with news as we receive it!