The facelifted Audi RS4 Avant has been revealed, ahead of an Australian introduction around mid next year.
Up front the RS4 gets a wider and flatter singleframe grille, which sits underneath a horizontal slit. Flanking each side of the revised grille are new LED headlights as standard which can be upgraded to Matrix LED units with darkened bezels, also featuring a new daytime running-light signature.
Compared to the standard A4 Avant, the RS4 gets 30mm wider guards at the front and back, with the more focused aesthetic accentuated by gloss black elements throughout the front fascia.
Buyers can also opt for black, matte aluminium and carbon styling packages which bring corresponding exterior accents for the sill inlay, exterior mirror housings along with the front and rear bumpers. Upon request, the Audi rings and RS logos can also be blacked out.
Inside, the new RS4 picks up the company's latest MMI touch infotainment system, measuring 10.1 inches, which is tilted "slightly" towards the driver.
Gone is the outgoing model's console-mounted touch pad and rotary controller in favour of full touchscreen functionality, which also frees up more room in the centre console for storage.
There's also an upgraded Virtual Cockpit digital instrument binnacle, which also features RS-specific menus and displays along with a shift light display.
Drivers can also be treated to an available head-up display which, like the Virtual Cockpit, features model-specific functions.
"The natural language control also understands many phrases used in everyday language and quickly translates them into commands," Audi says in its press release.
"The navigation in the new RS4 Avant is now even more versatile and user-friendly. Audi connect and Audi connect plus provide a host of online services, such as Car-to-X services, which take advantage of the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet."
A new 'RS MODE' button on the steering wheel allows drivers to toggle various profiles which tailor the vehicle's powertrain, steering and suspension accordingly. In addition to the regular set of modes, there's configurable RS1 and RS2 modes as well.
The company has added larger aluminium paddle shifters, complimenting the Alcantara trimmings for the steering wheel and gearshift.
As standard, the cabin features contrasting red stitching, which can also be optioned in grey, while the RS design package in red offers seat brackets in the backrest in the matching colour.
Like the outgoing model, the new RS4 Avant boasts 495L of luggage capacity with the second row in place, which expands to 1495L with the rear seats folded (measured to the roof).
The tailgate is electrically operated as standard, with a sensor for gesture operation available as an option. A tow pack is also optionally available.
Power continues to come from a 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 making 331kW and 600Nm, with the latter on tap from 1900 to 5000rpm. Drive is sent to a rear-biased (40:60) quattro all-wheel drive system via an eight-speed 'tiptronic' automatic transmission.
Audi claims the hot wagon wil dash from 0 to 100 in 4.1 seconds (no change), with the standard top speed electronically limited to 250km/h. Buyers can tick the box for the RS dynamic package which raises the limited to 280km/h.
In terms of efficiency, the company says the RS4 can sip just 9.2L/100km on the combined WLTP cycle, and emits 208g/km of CO2.
Under the skin there's a five-link suspensions setup at the front and rear, which the company says "enables the optimal absorption of longitudinal and lateral forces. With standard RS sport suspension, the RS4 sits 7mm lower than the S4 Avant.
European customers can option RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control, featuring a "special damper system that counteracts the movements of the vehicle body with no delay without the use of electronics". Selecting the various drive modes via Audi drive select also changes the level of damper response in accordance with the profile selected.
Available dynamic steering varies the steering ratio "by up to 100 per cent" depending on the driving speed, steering angle, and selected drive mode.
There's 19-inch forged alloy wheels as standard, shod in 265/35 tyres. A range of 20-inch designs are also available, including a new "fully milled" five-spoke rim finished in matte bronze and wrapped in 275/30 rubber.
Behind the wheels are standard RS steel brakes measuring 375mm at the front and 330mm at the rear, featuring six-piston calipers up front finished in black as standard, with red clampers optional.
Furthermore, buyers can opt for RS ceramic brakes on the front axle, featuring 400mm discs and the option of red, grey and blue calipers.
To keep you safe there's "more than" 30 driver assistance and active safety systems, with available features including adaptive cruise assist with stop&go function, intersection assist, lane change warning, and curb warning.
Eight exterior colours will be available for the facelifted RS4, including the new Turbo blue (solid) and Tango red (metallic). The Audi exclusive program allows "many more customised finishes", including the Nogaro blue pearl that featured on the original RS2 Avant back in 1994.
Audi's local division has indicated it's expecting the updated RS4 Avant to land in Australian showrooms around mid 2020, shortly after the facelifted A4 and S4 range arrive sometime during the first half of next year.
Further details like pricing and specifications will be announced closer to launch, but for reference the current RS4 kicks off at $152,529 before on-road costs.
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