Audi will stick with offering a wagon bodystyle for its next-generation RS4, but it will ditch the outgoing V8 engine for a smaller unit.
The 2017 Audi RS4 was filmed testing around the Nurburgring circuit this week and was also snapped by MOTOR reader Julian Spoor.
Audi’s rival to the C63 Estate appears to playing the usual tricks of the trade – take one B9-generation A4 wagon, pump the guards then fill them with large alloy wheels and make the front bar more aggressive. Cues such as the split diffuser beneath the front grille mimic current models such as the RS6 and likewise looks ready for a ‘quattro’ sticker to be stamped on it.
It is unclear whether the next RS4 will be Avant-only or return a sedan option to the fold, although the next RS5 should take care of coupe and cabriolet bodystyles, and could spawn a five-door Sportback variant. The next-generation A5 Sportback was also spied in testing on the same day.
What we know about the next RS4 is that it won’t use a naturally aspirated V8 engine, with the 4.2-litre unit that has graced B7- and B8-generations since 2006 now killed off.
Audi is on-record saying the R8 supercar won’t get a V8 engine to complement the current V10, but it may get a smaller engine down the track – likely a heavily boosted twin-turbocharged V6 engine.
The 3.0-litre turbo V6 used in the recently revealed S4 appears a likely candidate, possibly with a second turbo, for both the RS4 and entry R8 models.
Audi may also have a trick up its sleeve in the form of electric turbocharging, which made its production debut in the 900Nm SQ7 earlier this year. The Ingolstadt brand has said that the electric booster technology will initially be offered in future flagship models only.
Either way the RS4 will produce higher outputs than the new S4’s 260kW and 500Nm. The outgoing RS4 made 331kW and 430Nm, however both new S4 and old RS4 claimed 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds.
Around the ‘Ring the new mid-sized RS wagon didn’t appear to scream loudly, but it did look to sit flat and corner neutrally when pressed around the famous circuit in Germany.
Audi RS is busy these days, readying a five-cylinder turbocharged TT RS in addition to what has appeared to be a production RS3 sedan, the long-rumoured V6-engined R8 and now this next RS4 Avant.