Like the RS5, the RS4 Avant packs Audi's meticulously crafted 4.2-liter V8 putting out 450 horsepower at a stratospheric 8,250 RPM and 317 pound-feet of torque from 4,000 to 6,000 RPM. A seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox sends power to Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system, including a beefed up version of the S4's torque vectoring rear differential. The run to 60 blows past in the high four-second range and while the "standard" top speed is limited to 155 miles per hour, grease the palms at the Audi service department and you'll max out at 174 mph.
The 14.4-inch front rotors are framed by standard 19-inch lightweight wheels, with optional 14.9-inch carbon ceramic discs barely obscured by 20-inch hoops. A customizable, active suspension is fitted at all four corners, dropping the RS4 by nearly an inch over its standard Avant counterpart.
Pricing hasn't been set, but sales are due to begin this fall in Germany. And if Audi can make the case in the States, we hear the next generation could be a global model.