The RS 4 Avant is based on the same bodyshell as the A4 Avant, but sits lower and wider, with the wheel arches extended by 30mm with quattro-style blisters. The front is distinguished by the Audi singleframe grille in black honeycomb pattern flanked by massive air intakes. At the rear you’ll find oval tailpipes, a bespoke diffuser and a roof-mounted spoiler. The powered tailgate opens to reveal 505 litres of luggage space that expands to 1,510 litres with the 40:20:40 split rear seats all down. Distinguishing features of the RS Sport Edition include black gloss exterior brightware, 20” twin-spoke alloy wheels in Anthracite, an RS Sport exhaust system with black tailpipes and privacy glass. Inside, the RS Super Sports seats are in Nappa leather and Alcantara with contrast stitching and have a massage function.


The RS4 Avant’s TFSI 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 develops 450 metric horsepower and 600Nm of torque. This power reaches the road via quattro all-wheel drive with an eight-speed auto transmission and a rear sports differential. It’ll hit 62mph from a standstill in 4.1 seconds, and what makes this car such a unique proposition is that it can dish out performance to embarrass a supercar in all conditions, four-up and with luggage on board.


The RS 4 Avant Sport Edition comes with a long list of standard equipment, including LED headlights with high beam assist, keyless go, parking assistance, voice control, 3D Navigation and Audi’s MMI touch control interface. Audi’s acclaimed 12.3” Virtual Cockpit, which allows the driver to select the specific layout and data he or she requires, is bespoke for this model and can include virtual gauges for torque and g-force.


The RS4 Avant includes Audi Connect Safety and Service (3-year subscription), Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) including ABS, ASR and EDL, multi-collision brake assist, a pop-up bonnet for pedestrian protection in the event of an accident, and City Pre-Sense to avoid it happening in the first place. In 2015 the latest A4 gained a full EuroNCAP five-star rating.