The next-generation, B9-series Audi A4 sedan is just around the corner and that means new versions of all the separate variants such as the A4 Avant wagon, A4 Allroad soft-roader, sporty S4 and high-performance RS 4. We’ve already seen prototypes for the new A4, A4 Avant and S4, and now we have our first spy shots of prototypes for the S4 Avant.
Unfortunately, the A4 Allroad is expected to remain the sole A4-based wagon offered in the U.S., thus we’re likely to miss out on the new A4 Avant and this S4 Avant. The good news is that the regular S4 sedan will make it to these shores and likely a new RS 4 sedan as well.
Audi hasn’t revealed many details on its next-generation A4 but we do know the vehicle will be adopting the MLB Evo platform that makes its debut in the 2016 Q7 SUV. The platform uses a combination of high-strength steel, aluminum and even some composites to help get weight down, which should result in weight savings of around 200 pounds over the outgoing model.
For performance variants like the S4 Avant, the lighter weight will result in improved dynamics, particularly in areas such as acceleration, braking and handling. Also helping the handling will be a standard quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Power will most likely come from an uprated version of the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 found in the current S4 Avant, where it rates in at 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. Something around 340 hp and 340 lb-ft is possible. Six-speed manual and seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission options should remain on offer.
There’s also talk of a high-performance diesel engine being offered in the new S4 range, but don’t expect this option in the U.S.
Look for a debut of the new S4 range, including this S4 Avant wagon, early next year.