It looks like Audi has set its mind to fill all the performance niches in the premium category. Following news on the development of a hot S6 based on the latest iteration of Ingolstadt’s executive mid-size model, our man with the long lens has caught a prototype version of the upcoming RS4 Avant testing around the Nurburgring race track.
Even though the prototype is a test mule based on the S4 Avant, there are certain elements that tell us there’s something different about this model. These include the heavily blistered front and rear wheel arches housing the same dark 20-inch alloy rims found on the RS5 Coupe, as well as a modified front bumper with different air vents to supply additional cooling to the engine.
Talking about the engine, it is believed that Audi will make use of the same hardware as the RS5 Coupe. That means the RS4 Avant should get a naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V8 churning out 450HP at 8,250 rpm along with 430Nm (317.15 lb-ft) of peak torque between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm.
Power will be transferred to all-four wheels through a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission and Audi’s upgraded quattro system, which splits torque 40:60 front to rear under normal driving conditions, with the capability of sending up to 70 percent to the front or as much as 85 percent toward the rear end, if necessary.
Naturally, the RS4 Avant will get an upgraded chassis with beefed-up suspension, brake and steering bits, as well as a more aggressive aero package with model-specific parts and the usual interior goodies such as bucket sport seats, bespoke instruments and trim.
It remains to be seen if Audi’s plans will also include an RS4 sedan or if the company from Ingolstadt keeps the range limited to the Avant model.
Look for the RS4 Avant to make its world premiere at a major international car show next year.