Claimed to have been aesthetically inspired by the fearsome 90 quattro IMSA GTO that dominated the US IMSA GTO championship in 1989, the latest version in a long line of go-faster Audi estates, aside from its Nogaro Blue paint finish harking back to the iconic RS2 Avant, features a black honeycomb Singleframe grille, wider by 30 mm wheel arches, optional Matrix LED headlights, standard 19-inch or optional 20-inch RS alloy wheels and at the rear, a RS specific diffuser, oval RS exhausts and a RS roof spoiler.
The sporty theme continues inside where the RS4 Avant gets a flat bottom multi-function leather trimmed RS sports steering wheel, illuminated RS door sills, optional honeycomb pattern on the seats, RS specific Virtual Cockpit and Heads-Up Display, the latter featuring a G-meter, and a range of bespoke interior trims as part of Audi's Exclusive customisation programme.
Tipping the scales at 80 kg lighter and sitting seven millimetres closer to the ground than the previous RS4, the biggest change to the newcomer comes underneath the bonnet where a 2.9-litre bi-turbo V6 replaces the previous 4.2-litre normally aspirated V8. Essentially the same engine used in the Porsche Panamera and Audi RS5, the mill in the RS4 churns out 331 kW and 600 Nm of torque, transmitted to all four wheels via Audi's quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.
As well as the new engine, the RS4 also ditches the seven-speed S tronic gearbox for a torque-converter eight-speed Tiptronic, with Audi claiming a 0-100 km/h sprint of 4.1 seconds and a top speed limited to 250 km/h. Available as option, the RS4 Avant can also be had with carbon ceramic brakes, sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control, RS specific dynamic steering and the RS Dynamic Package that raises the top speed to 280 km/h.
Order in Germany will commence in the European autumn with pricing from €79 800 (R1 243 619).