return of the RS4and the hope it’s got even a taste of its predecessor’s fire. And why did we love the old one so much? The relative simplicity over its tech-laden successors, best demonstrated by the technologically impressive but dynamically disappointing RS5.
Debuting in Avant form is a good start, ditto the fact Audi has uncharacteristically backed away from horsepower willy waggling and stuck with the high-revving, normally aspirated 4.2-litre V8. 450hp is, by any stretch, adequate but, as discussed by Mr Harris, perhaps signals a retreat from ever more pointless horsepower Top Trumps.
Ur Quattro/RS6 style wheelarch flares add a bit of aggression to what could otherwise be lost in a line-up of S line A4 TDI Avants and under the skin the RS4 shares much with the aforementioned RS5. We’ll have to wait and see if Quattro GmbH has managed to eke a bit more character and poise out of the same raw ingredients, a chat with Quattro boss Stephan Reil later on hopefully shedding some light on how they’ve done that.
Indeed, as a 1.4 TFSI the A3 weighs just 1,175kg. This is the same 122hp turbo engine that we sampled recently in the A1 Competition Line and it’s a cracker, with a lovely revvy nature that belies its forced induction. Should make for a great combination with the new A3’s svelte kerbweight. At launch there’ll also be a 1.8 180hp petrol and a 150hp 2.0-litre TDI. The 1.8 gets seven-speed S tronic as standard, the others six-speed manuals. Two stages of suspension tweakage are available, Sport lowering the car by 15mm and S line by 25mm. Inside it’s all very Audi, with a renewed focus on connectivity through the MMI system.
Other PH-worthy debuts on the Audi stand include a hopped-up TT RS Plus, a 20hp upgrade to the regular TT RS that addresses the one issue the car didn’t have, that being a lack of power. Red-rimmed alloys a la RS3 and black-capped door mirrors are among the visual upgrades – expect a £50K dent in your wallet if having one up on your TT RS-owning mates is the kind of thing that matters.