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Published on February 15th, 2012 | by Seán Ward

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New Audi RS4 Avant

At last, Audi has unveiled the long awaited replacement for the second generation Audi RS4 launched in 2006.

It has a modified 4.2 litre V8 RS5 engine under the bonnet, which in turn is derived from the V10 in the RS6. Producing 450 bhp and 430 Nm of torque, it will hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds which is good but not quite as good as many were excepting; it’s only 0.2 seconds faster than the previous RS4, and 10 bhp more powerful.

Fuel economy is where the new car really standard above the old car, up to 25.7 from 20.8 mpg.

Like all fast Audis, Mercedes and BMWs, the top speed is limited to 155 mph, but Audi say the car is capable of 174 mph without the limiter.

Quattro Drive is standard, as with all RS Audis, so the Avant has 40:60 front-rear power split which supposedly offers a unique and involving driving experience.

Unsprung weight is reduced by a new chassis design: a five-link set-up at the front and a self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear assembly at the rear, all made completely of aluminium – complicated, yes, but with any luck it’ll go a long way in making the car feel more planted.

To keep the car stable at speed, Optional Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) and dynamic steering control are fitted as standard, with the option to a include sports exhaust system with and valve override switch.

19” ten-spoke aluminium wheels with 265/35-series tyres are the standard wheel options, but for a little more money buyers can chose a 20” five spoke V-design with 265/30 tyres.

Drilled steel disks are the norm, but carbon ceramics are probably the better option, Audi offers the option of 380-millimetre carbon fibre ceramic discs and six-piston callipers in anthracite grey. The ceramic brakes are especially lightweight, robust and durable.

On the dash drivers can chose from three driving modes (comfort, auto and dynamic) and also completely turn the traction control off – it may be four wheel drive, but it should be good for a little bit of drifting.

Driving the RS4 you’re unlikely to encounter any problems because, despite appearances and the massively flared wheel arches, the RS4 is only 20 millimetres longer, 24 millimetres wider and 20 millimetres lower than the standard A4 Avant.

Prices and specifications will be released in the next two months, with the car going on sale at the beginning of September.

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