WORLD PREMIERE: Audi RS4 Avant gets a new face, new tech

Now that the B9-generation Audi A4 has received its mid-cycle refresh, which included new headlights, taillights and interior technology, it’s time for the top-of-the-line model. Now, the Audi RS4 Avant has received its own facelift, keeping it fresh for its competitors.

To be honest, the Audi RS4 Avant wasn’t a car that needed much of a facelift. It was already so good looking prior to this update. Now that it’s here, though, it does look a bit better still. Its new headlights with their little eyebrow light bars and its new little vents underneath the hood make it look sportier than before. It also gets sharp looking taillights, with its own light bars. So it’s more modern, high-tech and premium looking than before.

On the inside, the new additions to the Audi RS4 Avant aren’t any different from the ones in the standard A4. So it gets the brand’s new Touch Response MMI screen mounted to the dash and the latest Virtual Cockpit digital instrument panel. Though, the latter gets a new RS-specific view screen, which shows a prominent rev-counter, flanked by all sorts of driving info. It’s a very cool view.

Under the skin, not much has changed from the pre-facelift Audi RS4. So it still gets a 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 444 hp (450 PS) and 443 lb-ft of torque (600 Nm). When paired with its eight-speed ZF-sourced automatic gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive, the RS4 is capable of an Audi-claimed 0-62 mph sprint of 4.1 seconds. Though, we’ve learned that it’s actually quicker in the real world, breaking into the high three-second range.

It also gets brake-torque-vectoring, so it can brake the inside wheels of a corner to help the car rotate better. So it can handle a corner every bit as well as it can sprint in a straight line.

As far as changes go, that’s about it. It’s just a bit of a facelift for an already excellent and very competitive car, so changes aren’t going to be drastic. We’re curious as to how the Audi RS4 Avant handles the upcoming BMW M3, though. It should be arriving soon with over 500 hp and all-wheel drive, so it could be a very dangerous competitor for the RS4. Rather than just updating headlights, Audi might be wise to debut an even higher-performance model to keep up with its newer competition.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.