The Audi RS4 is the ultimate high-performance shooting brake, and Audi recently confirmed plans to forgo the RS4’s naturally-aspirated V8 in favor of a turbocharged V6. The Euro-only RS4 currently produces 420 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque from the 4.2-liter V8 that has become a staple across the Audi lineup.
In an interview with Car and Driver, Audi Quattro boss Heinz Hollerweger seemed confident that power figures and driving dynamics would be unaffected by engine downsizing. Hollerweger gave no indication of whether the turbocharged V6 would be a tuned version of an existing unit or an all-new powerplant, but he did hint that the turbo V6 would produce more power than the current V8. In addition, rumors of electric turbocharging for the V6 have surfaced, an improvement that would virtually eliminate turbo lag at lower RPMs.
Most important were Hollerweger’s comments about shifting markets during the same interview. Interestingly, he remarked, “Europe is becoming a less important market, the U.S.A. and China are where we see growth happening,” suggesting that more RS models may make it to American shores to fight the likes of BMW M and Mercedes-Benz AMG. Though Hollerweger says that the RS4 will launch as an Avant, an announcement that seemingly dashes hopes of a US-spec RS4, the Quattro boss did remark that, “The U.S. is changing, and there is more demand there [for wagons], so maybe that will change.”
Car and Driver predicts that if a version of the RS4 platform makes it to US shores, it will be as an RS5 Sportback. Given the A7/S7/RS7’s enthusiastic reception stateside, it seems likely that C&D’s prediction is accurate. Stay tuned on TFLcar.com for more developments about the RS4’s fate in the United States.
Please enjoy this TFLcar.com 0-60 racetrack review of the 2014 Audi S4.