Presence, performance and practicality in equal measure: the celebrated RS 4 Avant has earned its place in Audi Sport’s hall of fame on the strength of its brilliant balance of everyday usability and extraordinary potency.
Now, in newly launched Competition form it tips the scales a little further in favour of a driving experience that is even more powerfully immersive and track-focused, without compromising the many other attributes of this perennial favourite. Limited to just 75 units in the UK, the highly exclusive RS 4 Avant Competition is equipped with an array of visual enhancements and chassis improvements, including RS Sport Suspension Pro (coilover suspension), the RS Sports Exhaust System Plus bringing reduced sound insulation, and a top speed increase to 180mph. Priced from £84,600 (OTR), it will be available for order in early September ahead of first customer deliveries at the start of 2023.
“As the successor to the seminal RS 2 Avant, which rewrote the rule book for the traditional estate car, the RS 4 has been a milestone model in our range for well over two decades,” commented Audi UK Director Andrew Doyle. “With every evolutionary step over the years it has cemented our eminent position in the segment even more firmly, and this new Competition version with its elevated performance and exclusivity definitely continues that trend.”
UK specification: performance upgrades
RS Sport Suspension Pro (coilover suspension) is an exclusive feature of the new RS 4 Avant Competition. Designed to maximise handling performance without compromising everyday usability, the coilover suspension is manually adjustable across a broad range, enabling the driver to prioritise comfort or agility as required. The Competition model sits 10mm lower than a standard RS 4 Avant, and its ride height can be reduced by a further 10mm by the driver if required. A higher spring rate, three-way adjustable dampers, and stiffer anti-roll bars guarantee exceptional precision, composure and control.
The potent biturbo 2.9-litre V6 develops 450 PS and 600Nm of torque from 2,000 to 5,000 rpm. Further improvements have been made to the updated software in the transmission control unit, resulting in shorter shift times and enhanced acceleration; the Audi RS 4 Avant Competition can sprint from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds, an improvement of 0.2 seconds over the standard model. The top speed has also increased to 180mph, making it the fastest RS 4 Avant in the model range.
The dynamic steering is fixed at a ratio of 1:13.1, and the enhanced quattro sport differential ensures an increased degree of adjustability – especially in the “dynamic” driving mode - while a new data set in the control unit with revised parameters places more emphasis on the rear axle. Further fine-tuning to the engine control unit software makes for tighter load changes in S mode when “dynamic” mode is active. The result of these chassis improvements is improved handling and even greater precision.
A new RS Sports Exhaust System Plus featuring tailpipes in matte black has also been developed especially for the RS 4 Avant Competition. It generates a more intense sound pattern, thanks not only to system modifications but also to adjustments to engine soundproofing, an added benefit of which is a reduction in kerb weight of around eight kilograms.
UK specification: visual enhancements
A single, very high level of specification will be common to all 75 UK-bound examples of the RS 4 Competition. Each track-focussed model will be finished in Sebring Crystal Black Paint, a fitting link to Audi’s motorsport pedigree and in honour of the 10th anniversary of Audi’s win at the inaugural World Endurance Championship at Sebring in 2012.
Unique 20-inch Competition wheels with Pirelli P Zero Corsa high-performance tyres designed for the road and the racetrack will help to set the RS 4 Avant Competition apart externally, while standard red brake calipers will further hint at its even more acute focus on performance. An exclusive carbon matte finish for the front splitter, mirror housings, front air intake inserts and rear diffuser will round off the exterior enhancements.
Inside, the standard RS Sports seats feature piano black gloss side trims and a leather / Dinamica honeycomb combination upholstery that is exclusive to the RS 4 Avant Competition. Further exclusive touches include red decorative stitching on the RS floor mats, centre console and door armrests and red edging on the seatbelts. The track-focused model is also the only RS 4 Avant to benefit from an Alcantara flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Upgraded standard equipment also includes an advanced key, the Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System, a 360-degree camera and a multi-coloured extended LED interior Lighting Pack.