There’s something conspicuously absent under the bonnet of this all-new Audi RS4 Avant: a V8. Yep, the glorious 4.2-litre N/A V8 has gone, usurped by a new 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 developed in collaboration with Porsche.
But what has been lost in cylinders has been more than made up for in torque: the new unit pushes out a curiously specific 442.5lb ft, over 125lb ft more than the old V8. Sure, power is the same at 444bhp, but torque is more useful in the real world, and we’re happy to report that the new six-banger is seriously potent in the RS4’s coupe brother, the RS5.
0-62mph is dealt with in just 4.1 seconds, and at the top end - assuming you option the ‘RS dynamic package’ - you’ll hit the electronic buffers at 174mph. With up to 32.1mpg and emissions as low as 199g per kilometre of CO2 possible meanwhile, it’s - on paper at least - much more efficient than the old car.
Compared to a boggo A4 on sports suspension, the RS4 sits 7mm lower. A ‘Dynamic Ride Control’ system with adapative, hydraulically-linked dampers is optional, with carbon ceramic brakes on ‘dynamic steering’ also on the configuration menu.
A rear ‘sport differential’ is on offer, although that’ll be fitted as standard on UK cars, along with Virtual Cockpit. Aren’t we lucky?
Further helping the new RS4 in the handling stakes is a drop in weight. At 1790kg it’s still a porky thing, but crucially, it’s 80kg ligther than before.
It is also - we think - rather handsome. The front is dominated by a massive, honeycomb-stuffed singleframe grille (just picture it without a number plate spoiling the show), while 30mm wider wheel arches with ‘quattro blisters’ give the whole car a particularly mean stance.
19-inch forged wheels come as standard, or for maximum bling, 20-inch rims will be available.
It’ll be available to order later in September for £61,625 on the road, with the first cars making their way to UK customers in early 2018.
For now though, we’d like to ask you: this, or a Mercedes-AMG C63 estate?