Audi RS4 Avant revealed

We get our first look at the new RS4 Avant at the Geneva Motor Show

This is the new Audi RS4 Avant, which stars on Audi's stand this week at the Geneva show. It will be sold only as an Avant estate, with the saloon’s place in the range now filled by the RS5 Coupe.

The RS4 Avant combines load-carrying practicality with supercar firepower. Under the bonnet is a 444bhp naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 – shared with the RS5 – and this catapults the new car from 0-62mph in only 4.7 seconds. That’s two-tenths faster than the old RS4.

Video: Watch our video of the new RS4 Avant at Geneva

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Top speed is restricted to 155mph, although the limiter can be removed to give 174mph. Yet the seven-speed twin-clutch S tronic box – with launch control –helps boost economy to 25.7mpg.

As with all RS models, Audi’s designers have pumped up the bodywork without going over the top. There’s a series of air intakes in the lower front bumper, plus sculpted sills and flared arches.

Huge twin oval tailpipes, finished in chrome as standard or black with the optional sports exhaust, are joined by a diffuser and roof spoiler. The tweaks make the RS4 20mm longer and 24mm wider than the regular A4.

The interior is all black with carbon fibre trim. There’s a flat-bottomed steering wheel wearing the RS logo, along with sports seats, although deeper buckets can be ordered. But the luggage capacity remains at 1,430 litres with the rear seats folded.

Revised, stiffer suspension drops the car by 20mm, while optional dynamic ride control constantly adjusts damper response at each corner.

Carbon-ceramic brakes can be added at extra cost, but only to the front wheels, while a dynamic steering system varies the ratio according to how fast you’re travelling. It will even apply opposite lock at the limit of the tyres’ adhesion, to keep you on the road.

Quattro four-wheel-drive can shuffle power between the front and rear axles and, if you order the sport differential, between the two back tyres to maximise grip and cornering speeds.

The RS4 is due to debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show and go on sale a few months later. It will take on Mercedes’ C63 AMG estate, but won’t have a BMW to worry about – as an M3 Touring has been ruled out. Audi has yet to confirm UK prices, but a figure of around £60,000 is expected.

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