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Facelifted Audi RS4 spied testing

As a new C63 arrives, so the RS4 gets an update - here's the first look

By Matt Bird / Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Decent (and very good looking) car though the latest Audi RS4 is, there's no escaping the fact it leaves a little to be desired as a fast estate package. Lacking a sparkling powertrain that so often characterises the fast Audi breed (and thrown into harsh light by the Mercedes-AMG C63), you're left with a high quality but less than inspirational way of shifting a chest of drawers at great speed.

Let's hope then that this facelifted model can generate a bit more fizz. Don't be surprised if a little more power is included, the twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 surely built with some intentional headroom in mind. While hardly critical to improving the RS4 experience - the car feeling more than brisk enough already - a bump out the output end would nudge the marketing campaign along. Especially when you consider that outgoing model 'only' produces the same 450hp that the old V8 did.

Elsewhere it's tricky to know what might happen, given the car largely delivers on what you might expect from a contemporary RS4. That's always the paradox, isn't it? The RS cars are spot on for those familiar with Audi traits, but aren't necessarily good for dragging people from the wagon version of the C63. Perhaps if the quality, traction, efficiency and speed could be combined with just a tad more involvement and engagement, the might be potential for something very good indeed. Steering that's less aloof would be a good start.

The way the RS4 looks could arguably do with a spruce, too. But given this is a facelift, expect the usual raft of minor updates to lights, bumpers and grilles - already these rear clusters have a hint of e-tron GT to them. Otherwise it's very much a case of spotting the difference with this car - which means that giant arches are probably not on the menu.

Our spy snapper has this RS4 down as a 2020 model, so expect to see if before this year is out - the Frankfurt show in September would surely be a nice fit. Should that be too long to wait, though, examples of the current B9 are lurking in the classifieds, including this very rare Ara Blue car at £64,000. More details to follow as they become available.

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