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Audi RS4 Avant blasts in from $152,900 BOCs

Advantageous: Thanks to its wagon body style, the new-generation Audi RS4 Avant can swallow up to 1510 litres of volume in its elongated derriere.

Ingolstadt undercuts Mercedes-AMG C63 S Estate with blistering Audi RS4 Avant


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25 May 2018

AUDI’S new flagship A4 wagon mid-sizer, the RS4 Avant, is now $1890 more expensive than before at $152,900 before on-roads, but the brand has promised over $20,000 worth of addition equipment on top of the generational advances.
On sale now, the B9-series RS4 Avant is nearly $7000 cheaper than its $159,711 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Estate arch rival, and bumps the continuing S4 Avant (at $102,611) from the top of the A4 tree, with additional performance and equipment to help justify its lofty pricing. 
Capable of hitting 100km/h from standstill in just 4.1 seconds – a 0.6s improvement over the old car – the newcomer scores about $22,000 worth of extra gear to boot, including 20-inch alloys (up from 19 inches), an RS Sport-specific exhaust, Audi Sport differential, Dynamic Ride Control adaptive dampers, radar cruise control, a sunroof (a no-cost delete option), and extensive privacy glazing with acoustic glass to help cut noise.
These features are on top of the standard-fitment adaptive LED headlights, RS sports seats with Nappa-pleated leather featuring pneumatic lumbar and massage functionality, Virtual Cockpit computerised instrumentation and multimedia, Audi Connect owner-assistance services, 30-hue ambient lighting, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, and a convenience key with powered tailgate gesture control.
The latest RS4 Avant is also the most powerful, as well as the fastest in its three-generation history, thanks in no small part to the 2.9-litre bi-turbo petrol V6 that is shared with the closely-related RS5 Coupe released last year.
Peak power of 331kW is delivered between 5700-6700rpm and maximum torque of 600Nm is available from a low 1900rpm all the way to 5000rpm. 
In contrast, the AMG C63 S Estate produces 375kW/700Nm from its 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8, to achieve an identical 4.1s sprint time to 100km/h.
Speed limited to 250km/h, the Ingolstadt uber hauler directs drive to all four wheels via an eight-speed Tiptronic torque-converter automatic. No manual is available. 
As usual, the AWD set-up is Audi’s famed Quattro system, and includes a self-locking centre differential that sends 60 per cent of torque to the back axle, or up to 85 per cent rearwards and 70 per cent frontwards if required. 
Audi says that compared to the previous V8, the bi-turbo V6’s torque plateau is 40 per cent wider for significantly greater low-down oomph. 
The new RS4 Avant is also 17 per cent more economical than before with an average fuel consumption figure of 8.9 litres per 100km (compared to 10.7L/100km in the previous version that was discontinued in 2015, and 8.7L/100km for the Mercedes). 
Combined carbon dioxide emissions is rated at 202 grams per kilometre.
Aiding efficiencies is an overall 80kg lighter package than before, contributed heavily by the new engine that saves 31kg over the previous V8 and the switch to the lighter, yet stronger and stiffer, MLB modular platform shared with other larger Audis including the Q7 and Q5 SUVs. 
There have also been cuts in unsprung weight, an increase in the use of hot-stamped steel and aluminium, and the inclusion of a five-link independent Sport Plus suspension system all round that sits 7mm lower compared to the S4 Avant.
The RS4 Avant also gains a brake package upgrade in the form of 375mm/330mm vented discs front and rear with six- and two-piston callipers respectively. 
Steering is an electro-mechanical rack and pinion set-up, while the differential actively distributes torque to the wheels that need it most to help curb understeer, and includes brake-based torque vectoring.
Standard safety and assistance technology includes an exit warning that watches for encroaching cyclists, turn assist to stop the car turning in front of oncoming traffic and rear cross-traffic alert.
Unveiled at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the new RS4 Avant is 62mm longer at 4781mm, 16mm wider at 1866mm, and 12mm lower at 1404mm than its predecessor, while the 2826mm wheelbase is a 13mm stretch.
Unique body panels include the front and rear blistered mudguards (to the tune of 30mm compared to the regular A4 wagon), rear doors and bumpers, while the oval twin tail pipes, wider and sharper-edged Single Frame front grille with honeycomb finish, larger air duct, and signature RS blade above the front diffuser are further RS4 exterior giveaways. 
Inside, the seats, materials, trim and door inlays are modified, the instrumentation includes RS-specific dials and meters with extended functionality including tyre-pressure temperatures, engine output graphs, a unique tachometer design, and a race mode readout for the optional head-up display.
The RS4 Avant’s luggage space is rated between 505 and 1510 litres.
Finally, there are a number of options, including an $11,900 Carbon and Black Styling Package, a $3900 Technik package (with head-up display, Matrix LED headlights, wireless charging and an extra Bluetooth connection), and a $3300 RS Design Package with additional Alcantara and Nappa leather cabin trimmings, as well as a smattering of red detailing. 
Audi expects to sell around 10 RS4 Avants monthly, and is holding about 100 orders.

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