The Audi Sport portfolio of models is gaining two new exciting members in the form of the Audi RS 4 Avant and RS 5 Sportback, now available in South Africa. Since the launch of the Audi Sport sub-brand in South Africa in 2016, the range of high-performance vehicles has seen an impressive growth in sales. 2018 was another such year for Audi Sport in South Africa, with the brand having increased sales of R8/RS models by 28% versus 2017.
The fourth generation of an RS icon: the new Audi RS 4 Avant
A practical sports car comes of age: Precisely 20 years ago, the first Audi RS 4 Avant was launched. Now making its local debut in its new generation, this vehicle combines high performance with excellent suitability for everyday use. Its 2.9 TFSI engine with 331 kW and 600 Nm of torque make it the sporting spearhead of the A4 family. The standard quattro drive distributes the power of the V6 twin turbo engine across all four wheels.
The designers took inspiration from numerous motorsport details used on the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO when designing the Audi RS 4 Avant. The front features solid air intakes with a honeycomb structure typical of an RS and the wide, flat single-frame grille. Compared to the Audi A4 Avant (not available in SA), the wheel housings have been widened by 30 millimetres each and are also emphasized by the quattro blisters. At the rear, the RS-specific diffuser insert, the oval tailpipes of the RS exhaust system and the RS roof spoiler make a bold statement.
In the new Audi RS 4 Avant, the V6 twin turbo engine delivers an output of 331 kW with a maximum torque of 600 Nm – 170 Nm more than its predecessor – deployed throughout a wide speed range from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm. This means the Audi RS 4 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 250 km/h but with the optional RS dynamic package, the top speed will increase to 280 km/h.
The power of the 2.9 TFSI twin turbo is transferred to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive via an eight-speed tiptronic transmission with optimized shift times that is specially tuned to sporty driving. The average fuel consumption is 8.8 litre per 100 kilometres with CO2 emissions of 200 grams per kilometre. This represents an efficiency increase of 17% over the previous model. The new Audi RS 4 Avant weighs 1,790 kilograms, making it 80 kilograms lighter than before. The standard RS sports suspension makes the Audi RS 4 Avant seven millimetres lower than the S4 with sports suspension. The RS sports suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), the ceramic brakes and the RS specific dynamic steering are available as optional extras. Drivers can create their own personal driving experience using the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, which is fitted as standard.
The quattro permanent all-wheel drive is a unique feature in the segment. With its asymmetric and dynamic design, it contributes greatly to the sporty and stable handling of the RS 4 Avant. During regular driving, the system uses a rear-weighted setup. Its purely mechanical centre differential lock sends 60% of the torque to the rear axle and 40% to the front axle. When slippage occurs on an axle, most of the power immediately flows to the other axle – up to 70% to the front, and up to 85% to the rear. The wheel-selective torque control enhances the mechanical functionality of the quattro drive. The agility, precision, stability and optimal traction are further enhanced by the software of the ESC Electronic Stability Control.
For more than 20 years, the combination of an aesthetic design and functional utility has ensured the Audi Avant models have stood out from the competition. Within the Avant family, the RS 4 Avant plays a very special role – an RS icon with an unrivalled history dating back to 1999. The maximum luggage compartment volume with the rear seat backrest folded down is 1,510 litres. The backrest is divided in a 40:20:40 ratio, and can easily be folded down onto the seat padding using the levers in the luggage compartment. In its basic dimensions, the luggage compartment of the RS 4 Avant offers 505 litres of volume, 15 litres more than before. As standard, the RS 4 Avant provides a gesture control system for opening and closing the luggage compartment lid. A motion detector in the rear bumper responds to a kick movement, the lid unlocks, and opens automatically if the key is detected. A remote control vehicle key and a stop-start button for keyless ignition are standard with the new RS 4 Avant. There is also a comfort key that enables keyless access to the vehicle, which is available as standard. The optional trailer hitch unlocks electronically at the push of a button and can tow up to 2,100 kilograms, up to an 8% incline.
The new two-tone Audi Sport entry lights and the illuminated sill panel strips with an RS 4 logo greet the driver and front passenger. LED light guides trace the contours of the doors and the centre console – with the standard contour/ambiance lighting package in 30 colours. The horizontal architecture of the instrument panel creates a vast sense of spaciousness in the high-quality, sporty interior of the RS 4 Avant.
As a fully digital alternative to the analog circular speedometer and rev counter, the RS 4 Avant offers the Audi virtual cockpit and MMI Navigation Plus as standard. Thanks to a resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels, its 12.3-inch TFT screen provides detailed and selectable graphics. A special RS screen complements the infotainment and classic displays. This places the tachometer with an integrated digital display for speed in central focus. The driver can configure other displays around this, such as the torque (in Nm), power (in percent), tyre pressure and temperature (in bar/°C) and g-forces. The tachometer also serves as a shift indicator: if the eight-speed tiptronic transmission is in manual mode, green, orange and red segments illuminate as the speed increases. Shortly before the engine reaches its limit, the entire scale flashes red. The lap timer, another feature of the RS menu, records up to 99 laps and compares the times against each other. The status of important technical components is also shown, such as the temperature of engine oil and transmission fluid, as well as the air pressure.
The RS 4 Avant is delivered with an extensive range of standard equipment. This includes LED headlights and LED rear lights, the RS sports suspension, 20-inch aluminium forged alloy wheels, the RS exhaust system and the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. The sporty look continues in the dark interior with RS sports seats in Fine Nappa leather with diamond stitching and lumbar support, black headlining, a flat-bottomed RS multifunction sports steering wheel and stainless steel pedals. At the same time, RS 4 Avant drivers will have a comfortable ride thanks to automatic climate control, MMI Navigation Plus with Audi virtual cockpit, Audi connect, Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound and Audi smartphone interface. The assistance systems Audi pre-sense rear, Audi pre-sense basic, Audi side assist, parking system plus and rear-view camera system supplement the extensive standard features.
Excellent design & optimum performance: the new Audi RS 5 Sportback
Available for the first time ever in Sportback guise, the new Audi RS 5 Sportback is a brand new offering in the Audi Sport portfolio without a direct competitor.
The exterior design of the new Audi RS 5 Sportback combines stirring curves and athletic surfaces. The longer wheelbase, short overhangs and long, wraparound engine hood with power dome all emphasize the dynamism of the model. The characteristic wavy shape of the powerful shoulder line is a visual highlight of the high-performance coupé. When viewed at an angle from behind, the modelled sides look particularly impressive. Here, quattro blisters emphasize the strong bulges over the wheel housings, which have been extended by 15 millimetres. At the front, the Audi RS 5 Sportback features a wide, flat single-frame grille, solid air intakes with a honeycomb structure typical of an RS, and a front spoiler with matte aluminium quattro lettering. Aside from the headlamps, the vehicle features additional design elements in gloss black, making the RS 5 Sportback appear even wider. An RS-specific diffuser insert, RS exhaust system with oval tailpipes and fixed spoiler lip give the rear end its sportiness.
The RS 5 Sportback shares its 2.9 TFSI V6 twin turbo engine with its Coupé sibling as well as the RS 4 Avant, with a power output of 331 kW and a maximum torque of 600 Nm, which is deployed throughout a wide speed range from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm. The Audi RS 5 Sportback accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds.
The power of the 2.9 TFSI is transferred to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive with centre differential via an eight-speed tiptronic transmission with optimized shift times that is specially tuned to sporty driving. The five-link design on the front and rear axles allows for substantially enhanced comfort, even in the sportiest of driving modes. With the standard RS sports suspension, the RS 5 Sportback is seven millimetres lower than the Audi S5 Sportback.
The high-quality, sporty interior of the new Audi RS 5 Sportback is finished in black, and provides space for five people. Its square-shaped profile and loading width measuring exactly one metre enables optimum use of the 480 litre trunk capacity. Folding down the rear seats increases the capacity to 1,300 litres. The rear seat backrest is divided in a 40:20:40 ratio as standard. The RS 5 Sportback weighs in at 1,840 kilograms.
The sporty nature of the five-door high-performance coupé is emphasized by details such as the RS sport seats with honeycomb pattern in Fine Nappa leather and the flat-bottomed RS multifunction sports leather steering wheel. RS emblems can be found on the seats, the steering wheel, the sill panel strips and on the selector lever. Special RS information displays in the Audi virtual cockpit provide information on tyre pressure, torque and G forces. In manual mode, the shift light display prompts the driver to shift up once the engine speed threshold is reached.
The sporty nature of the five-door high-performance coupé is emphasized by details such as the RS sport seats with optional honeycomb pattern in fine Nappa leather, and the flat-bottomed RS multifunction sports leather steering wheel. RS emblems can be found on the seats, the steering wheel, the sill panel strips and on the selector lever. Special RS information displays in the Audi virtual cockpit provide information on tire pressure, torque and G forces. In manual mode, the shift light display prompts the driver to shift up once the engine speed threshold is reached.
The RS 5 Sportback, like the RS 4 Avant, is available in South Africa with an extensive range of standard equipment. This includes LED headlights and LED rear lights, the RS sports suspension, 20-inch aluminium forged alloy wheels, the RS exhaust system and the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. For the interior, RS sports seats in Fine Nappa leather with diamond stitching and lumbar support, black headlining, a flat-bottomed RS multifunction sports steering wheel and stainless steel pedals are all available in its standard trim. Other features such as automatic climate control, MMI Navigation Plus with Audi virtual cockpit, Audi connect, Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound and Audi smartphone interface enabling Apple CarPlay are also included. The assistance systems Audi pre-sense rear, Audi pre-sense basic, Audi side assist, parking system plus and rear-view camera system supplement the extensive standard features.
The Audi RS 4 Avant and RS 5 Sportback will be priced as follows, standard with the 5 year/100 000km
Audi Freeway Plan and inclusive of all taxes:
- Audi RS 4 Avant 331kW quattro tiptronic: R 1,211,500
- Audi RS 5 Sportback 331kW quattro tiptronic: R 1,312,000