When it comes to the good things in life, it seems you can’t have it all. We’re talking about the 2020 Audi RS4 Avant. Audi recently unveiled the refreshed and reinvigorated RS4 Avant station wagon. It strays away from the familiar design features of the ordinary A4 Avant, and it also gets a host of new tech features.
However, the new RS4 Avant is not coming to North America, and that’s too bad. Instead, Audi is pitching the larger and more powerful RS6 Avant, and it’s coming to America brandishing a powerful V8 motor. This is all well and good, but what if you want a smaller Audi station wagon that also goes fast in a straight line? For that, the 2020 Audi RS4 is a perfect fit.
The new Audi RS4 Avant receives the proper RS treatment
One look is all it takes to discern you’re looking at a proper Audi RS model. Similar to the fascia of the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback, the new RS4 Avant receives a wider, flatter, and frameless Singleframe grille design. The revised front bumper also gets larger lateral air inlets and vertical flaps. Completing the new fascia are reshaped LED headlights with optional matrix LED lighting.
The wider stance is courtesy of the burly wheel arches that are 30 millimeters (1.2-inches) wider on the front and back. Speaking of the back, the RS4 Avant receives an RS-specific roof edge spoiler and diffuser. Rounding up the changes are chrome tailpipes to complete the aggressive, hunkered-down look.
The same engine with loads of power
Most of the changes in the new Audi RS4 Avant has something to do with styling and technology, but the engine and running gear are essentially the same. This means a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine producing 450-horsepower 444 pound-feet of torque, which it churns out from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm. Granted it pales in comparison to the 4.0-liter V8 in the RS6 Avant, having 450 horses in what is basically a wider A4 is more than enough oomph to have some proper fun.
The RS4 Avant is seriously quick
And we mean properly quick. With the turbocharged V6 pumping out 155.5 metric horsepower per liter, the RS4 Avant rushes from 0 to 60 mph in a scant 4.1-seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph (250 kph), but selecting the dynamic package increases the top speed to 174 mph (280 kph).
This is all made possible by the rear-biased Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system and eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, which are both standard in the new RS4 Avant. In normal driving, the Quattro AWD system splits the power 40:60 front to back. But during aggressive driving or when the system detects slippage, it can route up to 70-percent of torque to the front and up to 85-percent to the rear wheels.
Better handling and faster cornering are also assured by the standard wheel-selective torque control system. It essentially feeds more torque to the wheels outside of the curve and slightly applies braking force to the inside wheels. The result is neutral handling and more agile cornering.
It sits lower to the ground than a base model S4
The new Audi RS4 Avant has standard RS sport suspension. Because of this, it sits seven millimeters (0.3-inches) lower to the ground than an S4 with sport suspension. Optional is the RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC). The system has an integrated roll and pitch stabilizer along with special dampers that counteracts body movement without using sophisticated electronics.
The new RS4 Avant gets an updated interior as well
The biggest change in the interior has something to do with the larger 10.1-inch MMI touch display. It sits in the middle of the center console but is angled oh-so-slightly toward the driver. This means you get the RS monitor to display maximum g-forces and the air pressure/temperature of the tires. Meanwhile, the Audi virtual cockpit displays the torque and power output, oil temperature, acceleration measurements, and your lap times.
The all-black interior is complemented by LED ambient lighting (in 30 color combinations) and illuminated door sills. The RS design package adds RS logos and red contrasting stitches on the steering wheel, knee pads, and shift lever.
Like the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback, the 2020 Audi RS4 Avant is quite a looker. And since it’s a station wagon, you get 17.5 cubic-feet (495-liters) of luggage space in the commodious trunk. Sadly, it’s not coming to North America, but we can always hope and pray.