The RS6's baby brother couldn't get a plane ticket to America.
Audi made our dreams come true when it announced that the 2020 RS6 Avant would finally be sold in the United States for the first time ever. We didn't think the feeling of joy would ever wear off, but then Audi revealed the awesome new RS Q3, which is not coming to the US. Now Audi has toyed with our emotions yet again with the reveal of the updated 2020 RS4 Avant, which unlike its big brother, will not be offered stateside.
The RS4 Avant is based on the A4 Avant, which hasn't been sold in the US market for several years now - we only receive the A4 Allroad. Audi has updated the 2020 RS4 with a new fascia (to resemble the new RS6) along with major changes in the interior.
"Combining consistent sportiness with unlimited everyday usability may seem like an unconventional idea to some, but to us, the high-performance Avant is one of the best concepts of our 25-year history," says Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. "As our long-standing bestseller, the Audi RS4 Avant contributes significantly to the success of Audi Sport GmbH." (Just not in America).
The front fascia is noticeably different than last year's model thanks to new (optional) matrix LED headlights with darkened bezzles, new egg-crate grille, and hood vent. Audi says customers can opt to have the RS badges painted black or omit them altogether for a more understated look. Even so, the RS4's wider stance and larger wheels are a dead giveaway that this is a hardcore RS model.
Power still comes from a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 producing 444 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. All of the grunt is sent to a permanent all-wheel-drive system through an eight-speed automatic transmission, enabling a 4.1-second 0-60 mph time. Audi has, surprisingly, not added a mild-hybrid system to the mix as we have seen on some recent RS models.
Inside, the cabin has been overhauled to fit the latest Audi design language. A 10.1-inch MMI touch display replaces the old MMI system, which used a rotary-style controller. The Virtual Cockpit display in the gauge cluster now closely resembles the new graphics first seen on the RS6. It may be too much for us to ask Audi to bring two fast wagons to the US, but we are still disappointed the RS4 will not be offered here. The RS4's smaller size would offer a different driving experience than the RS6 and with no M3 wagon or C63 Estate in the US, it would go unrivaled.