Audi’s new A4 is just arriving in showrooms, in standard and sporty S4 variants.

Now we have spy shots of a prototype for the high-performance RS 4 variant, specifically an RS 4 Avant wagon.

Unfortunately, it’s not clear if the car will be offered in the United States. You’ll recall Audi doesn’t sell the current RS 4 here as the car comes in wagon form only—and the same is likely to be true for the new RS 4. Instead, we may be treated with a new RS 5 Sportback.

But getting back to the spy shots, we know this is the RS 4 because of its pumped fenders, aggressive front bumper and signature-RS oval exhaust tips. The tester is also fitted with uprated wheels, tires and brakes.

2018 Audi RS 4 Avant spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2018 Audi RS 4 Avant spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

While the current RS 4 is powered by a high-revving 4.2-liter V-8 good for 450 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, the new one is expected to go the downsizing route and adopt a turbocharged V-6. Despite the lower cylinder count, peak output should be on the rise. Something in the vicinity of 475 hp is likely. A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel-drive system should complete the drivetrain package.

Additional performance gains should come from the lightweight construction of the MLB Evo platform that underpins the new A4 range. Thanks to additional weight-saving mods, such as the use of carbon fiber, we could see the new RS 4 come in lighter than the 3,600 pounds of the S4.

An unveiling is expected to take place as early as next year, marking a change in strategy for RS models where their arrival has typically been much later in the vehicle life cycle.


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