The Audi RS4 Wagon Is the Most Sensible Toy to Have

Here's why the new RS4 Avant's split personality is a blessing from the Gods of Audi Sport.

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Audi

The headline news for the new RS4 is that the V8 is out, having been replaced by a much lighter V6. This 2.9 liter twin-turbo is good for 450 horsepower and 442 pound feet of torque, as well as some noise as long as you spec the sport exhaust. The clever sport differential comes standard, with the Quattro system sending 60 percent of the power to the rear in normal conditions. It runs to 60mph in 4.1 seconds, in a car that's as practical as a mid-sized wagon can get.

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Having a longer wheelbase than the RS5 means the RS4 Avant is both livelier out of the corners and more comfortable as a straight line missile.

With a claimed curb weight of 3946 lbs., the RS4 is still far from being light, but Audi managed to lose 176 lbs. compared to the previous generation, 68 of which is gone from the front. That's a noticeable change, since Audi's engines are still ahead of the front axle, and there, every little helps.

Add the milled aluminum wheels to save another 4.4 lbs. of unsprung weight per wheel, forget the optional dynamic steering system, and have a blast in the car that's gray when you need a daily driver, and Nardo gray when you suddenly find a bit of good road.

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