IF you appreciate accomplished cars — from an aesthetic point of view and not by just how flash and fast it looks — then you are sure to admire Audi’s revised 450PS super-Avant.
This week’s drive, the 2020 Audi RS 4 Avant, powered by a 2.9 TFSI twin- turbo V6 engine, has been developed by Audi Sport GmbH in part as an
homage to the legendary 2.7 litre V6 of the first RS 4 Avant back in 1999.
Everything about the new car makes it sing because all the equipment, power, and technology are completely in tune.
It’s fast — the new RS 4 Avant offers 450PS, the first RS 4 Avant twin-turbo V6 by comparison had a power output of 380PS, enabling it to accelerate from zero to 62mph in just 4.1 seconds.
But it’s not furious. This is understated automotive class at its finest. When ordering the new RS 4 Avant you can even get the carmaker to omit the RS badges “for a more understated look”.
This is what Audi was all about for me. It didn’t have to shout its credentials or boast about its cars’ prowess.
Certainly, with the RS 4 Avant you don’t have to make an exhibition of yourself to enjoy a superb motoring experience.
Though I have to say the colour of the test car — metallic Sonoma Green — attracted much comment and admiration for its “vintage” look.
However, there is nothing old-fashioned about the RS 4 Avant. It is a car bursting with up-to-minute technology and engineering.
It is an everyday car with the ability of a supercar. Oliver Hoffmann, managing director of Audi Sport GmbH nicely sums up the appeal of the RS 4 Avant.
Hoffman says the car combines “consistent sportiness with unlimited everyday usability”.
He says this “may seem like an unconventional idea to some, but to us, the high- performance Avant is one of the best concepts of Audi’s 25-year history.”
Let’s begin with the car’s greatest asset, its engine. The TFSI engine weighs just 182kg, which is 31kg lighter than the V8 engine in the previous 2012 RS 4.
Audi says this benefits the gross weight and the axle load distribution — two prerequisites for impressive performance.
The RS dynamic package increases the electronically governed top speed from 155mph to 174mph.
The power of the 2.9 TFSI flows to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system via the eight-speed tiptronic transmission.
The high-output V6 not only has strong performance but also a high level of efficiency. It returns up to 30.7mpg, which corresponds to 211 grams of CO2 per kilometre. The technical
animation of an RS 4 Avant to welcome the driver.
The MMI touch display provides acoustic feedback and takes over the functions of the previous rotary pushbutton on the centre console.
The driver can use the RS monitor to call up an overview of drive system component temperatures, maximum g-forces and information regarding tyre pressures and temperatures.
In the Audi virtual cockpit, special RS displays provide information on tyre pressure, torque, power output, engine oil temperature, lap timings, acceleration measurements and g-forces. The shift light display prompts the driver to upshift when the rev limit is reached.
The navigation in the new RS 4 Avant is now more versatile and user-friendly. Audi connect and Audi connect plus provide a host of online services, such as Car-to-X services, which take advantage of the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet.
A new look, a new touchscreen MMI Touch operating system and a new, four-strong choice of model variants — the 450PS Audi RS 4 Avant has re-joined the UK Audi Sport range in great shape.
Audi RS 4 Avant TFSI tiptronic
Total cost of test model: £79,655
Exterior colour: Sonoma Green, metal- lic (£675)
Interior: Black fine Nappa leather with
rock grey stitching
New look and techno- logical upgrade
Powerful and efficient: twin-turbo V6 with 450PS