2020 Audi RS 4 Avant: The dragon wagon returns

The Audi RS 4 Avant is back with 450 horsepower and, er, 1,495 litres of luggage space…

SINGAPORE — The Audi RS 4 Avant has just rolled into Singapore, at a price of S$404,075 including Certificate Of Entitlement. It’s the go-fast wagon version of the heavily facelifted A4, which Audi Singapore launched here on July 6.

Make that a go-very-fast version. The Audi RS 4 Avant has 450 horsepower and 600 Newton-metres of torque from just 1,900rpm. It leaps from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds on the way to a top speed of 250km/h; or 280km/h if you opt for the S$7,373 RS dynamic package.

All that oomph is from a 2.9-litre, twin-turbo V6. Audi says it pays homage to the 2.7-litre V6 in the original RS 4 Avant from 1999. The 2.9 TFSI replaces a snarling V8 engine, but the move helps cut fuel consumption by 17 percent.

2.9 litre V6 TFSI engine in the Audi RS 4 Avant

Power goes to all four wheels via an eight-speed Tiptronic auto, with the quattro system tuned to send 60 percent of the torque to the rear wheels. The rearward bias is intended to make the RS 4 Avant feel more neutral during cornering, but the system can shift things around according to where power is needed: 85 percent to the back, or up to 70 percent for the front axle.

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Singapore cars get a sport differential with RS-specific tuning. It lets the Audi shuttle energy between the rear wheels; steer right, gas it, and the left wheel gets more power to sharpen the turn, and vice versa. 

How to spot the new RS 4 Avant? Start with the back, which is what you’ll probably see most when one of them blasts past you. There’s an RS-specific roof spoiler, a diffuser insert and fat tailpipes at each end of the bumper. Here’s a suggestion: spring for the RS sport exhaust (S$5,895 extra), which “creates a particularly sporty sound experience” and blasts it out of black tailpipe trims. 

Mind you, it’s pretty distinctive up front, too. Audi says the Singleframe grille is wider and flatter than a regular A4’s. It has a 3D honeycomb structure in gloss black, as per the RS norm. Requisite air scoops and flaps add some meanness, but they’re all doubtless there to guide air where it’s needed.

Impossible to miss are the blistered wheelarches, which add 60mm in total to the body’s width.

Inside, it’s just as tasty. There’s enough carbon fibre in there to build half a Formula 1 car, and the D-shaped steering wheel and bucket seats both shout “sporty”. Actually, they shout “RS”, which you’ll see all over the cabin.

Audi’s digital game is strong at the moment, so virtual instruments and the 10.1-inch touchscreen with the updated MMI system that lets you spell things with your fingertip are both present and accounted for. 

There’s some RS fairy dust here, too. The MMI screen can display stuff like maximum G-forces, tyre temp and pressure, gearbox temp and so on.

The virtual cockpit screen doubles up on that, but adds RS displays that show torque and power output, lap times, acceleration and all the good stuff. Even the head-up display chips in with bright, blinky shift lights.

Of course, the main reason you wanted a wagon was to transport stuff, right? In which case, you’ll be glad to know the RS 4 Avant has the same boot capacity as an A4 Avant: 495 litres with the rear seats up, 1,495 if you drop them.

Or maybe you’re interested because what could be more wickedly subversive than a station wagon that goes like the devil? Either way, given that estate cars sell poorly here, you know the RS 4 Avant is for someone who knows exactly what he wants.

It’s not so much a car designed to fly out of showrooms anyway, but to fly down your favourite road.

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about the author

Leow Julen
CarBuyer's managing editor is a lot older than he behaves. He's been writing about cars for 25 years. Someday he might do it coherently. Ju-Len believes in world peace and V8s, but not necessarily in that order.