The Original Audi RS 4 Avant – A Legacy Begins

In 1999, Audi revolutionized the world of high-performance wagons with the introduction of the original RS 4 Avant. This groundbreaking model, developed by quattro GmbH (now Audi Sport GmbH), set new standards for performance, design, and versatility, establishing a legacy that continues to thrive today.

A Pioneering Spirit
The first RS 4 Avant emerged from the B5 generation of the A4 series, transforming the concept of a sporty wagon into a reality. It featured a 2.7-liter biturbo V6 engine, developed in collaboration with Cosworth, delivering an impressive 280 kW (380 PS) and 440 Nm of torque. This powerful engine allowed the RS 4 Avant to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.9 seconds, a remarkable feat for a wagon at the time.

Iconic Design
The original RS 4 Avant distinguished itself with a widened body, flared wheel arches, and a lowered stance, giving it an aggressive yet elegant appearance. The sporty design was complemented by functional elements such as large air intakes, a rear spoiler, and distinctive RS badging.

Advanced Engineering

  • Engine: 2.7-liter biturbo V6, 280 kW (380 PS), 440 Nm torque
  • Performance: 0-100 km/h in 4.9 seconds, top speed electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph)
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual gearbox
  • Drivetrain: Quattro all-wheel drive for exceptional traction and handling

Interior Excellence
Inside, the RS 4 Avant combined luxury with sportiness. High-quality materials, including leather and Alcantara, were used throughout the cabin. The seats offered excellent support, and the ergonomically designed cockpit ensured that the driver had all controls within easy reach. Unique to this model were the RS-specific details such as the RS logo on the steering wheel, gear knob, and instrument cluster.

A Racing Heritage
The RS 4 Avant’s performance was not just for show; it was rooted in Audi’s racing heritage. The vehicle’s development was heavily influenced by the brand’s experience in motorsport, ensuring that it offered not just straight-line speed but also exceptional handling and braking performance. The RS 4 Avant featured upgraded suspension, brakes, and wheels, making it as capable on a racetrack as it was on public roads.

Legacy and Influence
The success of the original RS 4 Avant paved the way for future RS models, establishing Audi as a leader in the high-performance wagon segment. Its blend of power, practicality, and luxury set a benchmark that continues to influence the design and engineering of Audi’s RS models today.

Specs at a Glance

  • Engine: 2.7-liter biturbo V6
  • Power: 280 kW (380 PS)
  • Torque: 440 Nm
  • Performance: 0-100 km/h in 4.9 seconds
  • Top Speed: 250 km/h (155 mph) electronically limited
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual
  • Drivetrain: Quattro all-wheel drive

The original Audi RS 4 Avant remains a legend in the automotive world, remembered for its groundbreaking performance and enduring design. Its legacy is celebrated through Audi’s continuous innovation and dedication to pushing the boundaries of what a high-performance wagon can be.

Source: Audi
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