Spied: 2018 Audi RS 4 Avant

Spied: 2018 Audi RS 4 Avant

European spies have caught Audi’s new range-topping A4-based avant testing at the Nordschleife.

The 2017 S4 was revealed last year in Frankfurt. With ~350 horsepower in an already-slimmed down body, it makes for an excellent foundation for an RS model.

While Audi’s line of “S” cars have long delivered an excellent compromise of straight-line performance and daily driving comfort, the RS models are typically geared toward the M and AMG models of the world, putting a priority on going fast rather than trying to play jack-of-all-trades.

The new Audi RS 4 is still a couple of years away, but there are few things we’re fairly confident about.

For starters, the old formula of a high-revving V8 paired to a manual or dual-clutch gearbox is likely a thing of the past. We expect a twin-turbocharged V6 producing somewhere north of 400 horsepower. A trick torque-vectoring differential is all but guaranteed, as is the inclusion of Audi’s new eight-speed, ZF-sourced automatic transmission.

A manual gearbox seems highly unlikely at this point, given how little interest there is for such an inclusion in the European market.

Stay tuned to Leftlane as we keep our eye on the next generation of Audi’s compact luxury bruiser.