Geneva 2012: Audi RS4 Avant
Tuesday 06 March 2012
• More grip than slip equals 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds
• No saloon version, it’s RS4 Avant all the way
• First UK deliveries are expected in September
What is it?
The second generation RS4 Avant (there won’t be a saloon this time) will hopefully be even better than the 2005 to 2008 model. Like the iPhone 4S, it pretty much looks like it used to, but everything is sharper than before. Just don’t try asking it if you’ll need an umbrella or how many meetings you have. Instead, revel in the burble from its V8 and the sensation of power under your big toe.
What’s it like?
It’s the perfect expression of the difference between BMW and Audi. Audi favours big power, quattro four-wheel drive grip and estate practicality in the RS4, while the BMW M3 has rear-wheel drive and is available as a Coupe, saloon or convertible. The M3 has a scintillating engine, but its 414bhp is outgunned by the 444bhp of the new RS4, which also revs to a spine tingling 8,250rpm. It’ll go from nought to 62mph in 4.7 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the old one. Oh, and it’ll manage 25.7mpg on the combined cycle, around six more than the last model.
Is it full of shiny new technology?
If you are a tech Magpie, the RS4 is likely to be your dream car, and not just because you can fit half of PC World in the boot. Its advanced four-wheel drive system can send up to 70 per cent of power to the front wheels, and as much as 85 per cent to the rear, to eek out maximum traction. It also features a torque vectoring system to prevent tyres skidding during hard cornering. Massive wave disc brakes are shaped to dissipate heat more effectively and save weight, improving performance and longevity. When you aren’t on the move you can keep in the loop using the in-car WiFi hotspot.
When can I buy it?
The first UK deliveries are expected in September this year.
By Andy Goodwin, senior web journalist
The cars of Geneva 2012:
Audi RS4 Avant
Ford Fiesta ST
Hyundai Veloster Turbo
Lamborghini Aventador J
Land Rover DC100
Lexus RX 450h
Mercedes A Class
Volkswagen Golf GTI Cabriolet
Volkswagen Polo BlueGT