Audi Working On New RS4 With Hybrid Power

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And the next-gen Audi A4 e-tron will also be topped by a hot RS model.

The competent Audi A4 lineup is going to look very different in a few years as the brand transitions to fully electric powertrains. However, the next-generation A4 that is due in 2023 won't immediately ditch combustion power - at least not at the lower end of the lineup. Autocar has shed some more light on what to expect from the sixth generation of Audi's BMW 3 Series fighter. The range will use two different platforms depending on whether the specific model is a hybrid or a pure battery-electric. Right at the top, a new RS variant with all-wheel drive won't use a combustion engine at all.

The next Audi RS4 is likely to continue to use the existing 2.9-liter V6 gas engine with twin turbocharging. After all, Audi has already declared that it won't build new combustion engines from scratch.

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2020-2022 Audi A4 Sedan Front Angle View Audi
2020-2022 Audi A4 Sedan Rear Angle View Audi

However, this new RS4 will receive electric assistance. Audi is also working on a new, sleek A4 e-tron with a high-performance RS variant. The A4 e-tron will be a direct competitor to the BMW i4 - think of it as a smaller A6 e-tron Concept. This model is based on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture that will also be used for certain Porsche products. It'll be interesting to see if there is a performance gap between the electric-only RS and the hybrid RS4 or if Audi will simply be offering two equally quick performance sedans with different personalities.

More affordable versions of the upcoming A4 will use a reworked 2.0-liter turbo-four as well as a diesel engine. These units will be either mild hybrids or plug-in hybrids and, as usual, will be offered with Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

2020-2022 Audi A4 Sedan Front Angle View Audi
2020-2022 Audi A4 Sedan Side View Audi
2020-2022 Audi A4 Sedan Taillight Audi

Expect either a conventional eight-speed automatic or a seven-speed dual-clutch. A 14.4 kWh lithium-ion battery on PHEV A4s could offer an electric-only range of close to 50 miles.

But for speed freaks, the high-performance RS variant topping the A4 e-tron lineup will hold the most appeal. This version should produce around 469 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. Currently, the most powerful Audi A4 sedan in the US is the S4 with 349 hp. With the RS-badged A4 e-tron and the new hybrid RS4, Audi will be well-positioned to take on its M and AMG rivals in this segment, along with the Tesla Model 3. The next-gen Audi A4 is expected to go on sale in the UK in 2023.

2020-2022 Audi A4 Sedan Dashboard Audi
2020-2022 Audi A4 Sedan Rear Passenger Seats Audi
2020-2022 Audi A4 Sedan Dashboard Audi
Source Credits: Autocar

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2020-2022 Audi A4 Sedan Front Angle View
2020-2022 Audi A4 Sedan Rear Angle View
2020-2022 Audi A4 Sedan Dashboard
2020-2022 Audi A4 Sedan Rear Passenger Seats
2020-2022 Audi A4 Sedan Dashboard
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