Next-Gen Audi RS4 Will Unleash Turbo Six, Importation Still in Question
Next-Gen Audi RS4 Will Unleash Turbo Six, Importation Still in Question
Under German watch and Europeís hyper-aggressive emissions laws, thereís no encore for naturally aspirated V-8s revving to kingdom come. As we witness Mercedes-Benz AMG euthanizing its big-bore 6.2-liter V-8, and BMW M GmbH replace the old M3ís 4.0-liter V-8 with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six, we must ask: what of Audi? Sadly, it too is swapping its free-breathing eight-cylinder for a forced-induction six-cylinder in some applications.
Weíve learned from deep within Audi that the next RS4 will trade its 450-hp, 4.2-liter V-8óthe same mad mill as found in the RS5ófor a turbocharged V-6. While plucking the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 from Audiís armada of S cars would seem the most logical choice, Quattro GmbH is instead shifting focus to turbos for its RS-branded models. We suspect Audi will affix a pair of turbochargers to the six-cylinder, which would allow the brand to trump the 430 horsepower of BMWís new M4 and M3. Whether Audi will bring the RS4 or its new turbo six-cylinder to America is still undetermined.
This wouldnít be the first time Quattro gave its RS4 a turbo six. During the 2000 and 2001 model years, Audi released an RS4 Avant with a 375-hp, 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6 tuned by Cosworth, but only for Europe.
Audi knows the 4.2-liter V-8ís instant throttle response and 8500-rpm redline are huge selling points to simply throw away, but the brandís been in the process replacing V-8s with V-6s for some time. The S4, S5, and A6 all were available with eight-cylinder power as recently as 2011. We havenít missed those eight-cylinders as much as weíve enjoyed the improved fuel economy and greater low-end torque from the new blown sixes. So long as Quattro maintains the RS4ís crackling exhaust, there wonít be time for a eulogy.
Rumor is it will use the same block as the current Supercharged 3.0 V6 in the S4, S5, A6, A8, Q5, and SQ5. Which itself uses the same block as the discontinued 3.2L V6 that was in the A4, A6, Q5, etc.
Rumors also talk about shared technology between the new 3.6L turbo V6 in the Macan Turbo, yet Porsche maintains their engine is their own. So we will see.
My guess is that a lot of technology will be "borrowed" from Porsche's development of their engine, but it will be a unique engine for Audi. A lot of people in the Audi community are dissatisfied with the current RS5, to the point where Audi USA knew it wouldn't make any money on an RS4 over here, seeing as the S4/S5 are pretty much just as fast stock, as fast with an ECU tune, and faster with a simple pulley swap to increase supercharger RPMs. Which can be done for ~$2000.
These are our first spy shots of the next-generation ĎB9í Audi A4 sedan, which is due on the market around the end of the year as a 2015 model. It will be followed about a year later by its Avant wagon and A4 Allroad variants, and will for the first time offer some alternative drivetrains. The prototype, which is in a fairly late stage, as evidenced by several production-spec elements, is heavily masked but still reveals a few details.
The size and overall proportions of the 2015 A4 appear similar to that of the current model. The tail-light design looks like the one used on the 2015 A3, while the exhaust tips feature a new rectangular shape. We can also see the new side mirror caps, which feature a streamlined shape, and a glimpse of the interior also reveals the design of the door handles.
The 2015 A4 will be Audiís first model to ride on the next-generation version of the MLB (modular longitudinal) platform, which will eventually underpin most of the automakerís models from the A4 up. Previewed in Audiís Sport quattro concept, the latest MLB platform uses a combination of ultrahigh-strength steel, aluminum and even some composites to help get weight down. Look for weight savings of around 200 pounds compared to the current A4.
Front-wheel drive will remain standard while quattro all-wheel drive will continue to be offered as an option. The front suspension is believed to be comprised of five links per wheel, while the rear suspension should be based on the self-tracking trapezoidal link principle coveted by Audi.
One of the key benefits of the latest MLB platform is that it has been designed to be compatible with alternative drivetrains. We should get a plug-in hybrid version of the 2015 A4 while overseas Audi will likely offer a natural gas version and maybe even an all-electric version.
The base engine, at least here in the U.S., should continue to be a 2.0-liter TSI with a 3.0-liter TSI offered for buyers seeking greater performance. It is not clear at this point if Audi will resurrect its RS 4 badge for the new A4, but we do know that a 2.0-liter TDI diesel option will be offered. Transmissions are likely to include six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch units.
Stay tuned for updates as development of the 2015 Audi A4 continues over the course of the year.
What It Is: Our well-informed artistís interpretation as to what the next generation of the Audi A4 will look like. Itís to be edgier and more angular, and it will brim with technology, including full-LED lighting, a head-up display, and autonomous-driving functions.
The carís aggressive styling will serve as something of a barometer for the future of the brandís aesthetics after former head of design Wolfgang Egger was relieved of his duties and reassigned to Italdesign Giugiaro. Audi will continue to offer a four-door sedan and the Avant station wagon. Well, the latter will be sold in Europe, anyway; Americans will have to continue to settle for the jacked-up, plastic-clad Allroad.
Why It Matters: While the market for small and compact crossovers still shows considerable potential for growth globally, and the Q5 has actually become Audiís bestseller in the U.S., the A4 will continue to serve as the backbone of Ingolstadtís product program. With Mercedes increasing the luxury quotient in its new-for-2015 C-class, BMWís 3-series continuing to pile up 10Best Cars awards, and serious challengers emerging in the Lexus IS and the Cadillac ATS, the segment is as hotly contested as ever. Making a highly desirable A4 that can stand up to this competition will be crucial to maintaining Audiís upward trajectory.
Platform: The next A4 will be among the first vehicles to make use of the second-generation, Audi-developed MLB (Modular Longitudinal) architecture. This platform will underpin a large number of vehicles, including future generations of the A6, the A8, the A5, and the Volkswagen Phaeton. Thanks to a clever mix of structural materials, MLB II will cut about 200 pounds from the outgoing platform, and it will also accommodate front- or all-wheel drive as well as plug-in hybrid componentry.
Top: 2013 Audi A4. Bottom: 2015 Audi A4 (artist's rendering).
Powertrains: The next A4ís engine arsenal will include 1.4-, 1.8-, and 2.0-liter four-cylinders; a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 in the S4; four- and six-cylinder diesels; and very likely another V-8 in the next RS4. The U.S. should expect to receive a very similar lineup to what we see today: the 2.0-liter turbo four, the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6, and maybe a twin-turbo V-8 should Audi decide to resurrect the RS4 on our shores. (That high-performance model was last sold here as a sedan and a cabriolet for 2007 and 2008, but is currently only built as an Avant wagon for overseas markets.) We also expect a diesel model to be available here. A six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic will fill out the transmission roster.
Competition: BMW 3-series, Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS, Mercedes-Benz C-class.
Estimated Arrival and Price: Audi is expected to reveal the 2015 A4 next spring before shipping production cars to U.S. dealers in early 2015. Expect a slight increase in base price from the current A4ís $34,695.
Audi looks set to follow its rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz by downsizing to a force-fed engine for the next generation of its RS 4. The current model is powered by a high-revving 4.2-liter V-8, good for 450 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, but Car and Driver is reporting that the next version of the car will feature a downsized turbocharged V-6 engine.
BMW has implemented a similar strategy for its latest M3/M4 and Mercedes is doing the same with its next C63 AMG, although the Merc will maintain a V-8 configuration. Cadillac, too, is likely to adopt a turbocharged V-6 for its ATS-V, meaning Lexus and its IS F/RC F will be the only contender with a good olí naturally aspirated V-8 in the segment.
The engine in the next RS 4 is likely to be based on the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 currently fitted to the S4, with the supercharger replaced by a twin-turbocharging system. Output will likely trump the 425-horsepower figure of the M3/M4 but may not eclipse that of the C63 AMG, which is set to feature a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8.
Sadly, the next RS 5 will also likely feature this engine, meaning the end of naturally aspirated V-8 engines in the performance models of Germanyís three major premium brands.
Unfortunately, thereís still no confirmation that future versions of the RS 4 will be sold in the U.S. However, given the popularity of rival models as well as Audiís promise to bring more its RS models here, itís a likely bet.
2015 Audi A4 details emerge, will be offered as a plug-in hybrid - report
Will feature cylinder deactivation tech
German media has managed to obtain some preliminary details about the next generation Audi A4 slated to go on sale next year.
Auto Motor und Sport says the sedan will have just about the same dimensions as today's model and will spawn coupe, convertible, Sportback and Allroad derivatives. The design will be evolutionary and will include a rear spoiler lip improving the car's aerodynamic efficiency. Audi will offer optional full LED headlights together with fine strips of LED daytime running lights while at the back there will be wider taillights.
Head-up display technology will be incorporated into the Audi A4 (B9) which will also feature a built-in digital screen in the rearview mirror. The center console will be derived from the recently facelifted A8/S8 and there will also be a touchpad together with a large touchscreen display for the MMI infotainment system. Interestingly, the report also mentions a programmable display as in the new TT but not with the same high level of customization.
In terms of motorization, the 1.4-liter 4-cylinder TSI will be offered with cylinder deactivation which will shut down two of the cylinders during low and medium load, a process which should take 36 milliseconds and reduce fuel consumption by 0.5 liters / 100 km.
There will also be a plug-in hybrid version capable of running in electric mode for up to 50 km (31 miles). It will combine a 211 bhp 2.0 TFSI engine with a 95 bhp electric motor, while a diesel engine is also being considered.
The next generation Audi A4 is programmed to arrive in showrooms next year.
Next-gen Audi A4 chassis testing mule spied with raised suspension
On sale next year
A chassis testing mule of the next generation Audi A4 was spotted by our spy photographers recently.
A couple of days ago preliminary details emerged about the A4 B9 and now we have several photos to share with Audi's response to the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Don't be deceived by the looks of this car as it's only a chassis testing mule with two hood latches and wider rear wheel arches. In addition, the vehicle appears to have a raised suspension which indicates Audi's engineers are already working on a more rugged Allroad version that will likely come out shortly after the standard model.
From what we know so far, the 2015 Audi A4 will be offered in a plug-in hybrid version (211 bhp 2.0 TFSI + 95 bhp electric motor) and will be able to travel for 50 km (31 miles) solely on electric power. The 1.4 TSI engine is said to receive cylinder deactivation technology which will shut down two cylinders during low and medium loads which will lower fuel consumption by 0.5 liters / 100 km and the process of deactivating & activating the two cylinders will only take 36 milliseconds.
Exterior design will be evolutionary while on the inside the center console will be derived from the A8 facelift but with the programmable display from the TT, although not with the same level of customization. The A4 B9 will reportedly come with a digital screen incorporated in the rearview mirror and should boast a larger touchscreen display as part of the latest generation MMI infotainment system.
The overhauled A4 is set to reach Audiís dealerships sometime in 2015.