Limited-run Audi RS4 Competition priced from £84,600

The new Competition package brings more focus to the Audi RS4 Avant, with suspension and chassis tweaks, new wheels and more

It’s fair to say that from the highs of the B7 and B8 Audi RS4 (and their naturally aspirated V8s), the current generation RS4 hasn’t received quite the same level of adoration. There’s good reason for this, of course: its rivals have become harder, faster and more involving, while Audi Sport took the path of making the RS4 smoother and more GT-like. Well, that’s about to change, as Audi Sport has revealed a new Competition package for the RS4 Avant that it’s hoping will add some much needed pizzazz to the driving experience. Just 75 units will be sold in the UK with prices starting from £84,600 – order books open in September.

The upgrades start with a new coilover suspension set-up. As standard, the RS4 features adaptive dampers on coil springs, with an optional Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) system that hydraulically cross-links the dampers to improve lateral stability under load without making the damping over-firm. For the Competition versions, however, both systems have been pushed aside and replaced with a new set of three-way adjustable coilovers. These units have a higher spring rate than those of the standard RS models, and are paired with new calibrations for the dampers and stiffer anti-roll bars. 

> Audi RS3 review – has the five-pot hot hatch finally found its feet?

The new coilovers also sit the body 10mm lower from the factory, while a further 10mm drop can be dialled in manually. The upgraded suspension is paired with new forged and milled 20-inch Y-spoke wheels and standard-fit carbon-ceramic brakes. 

Along with the new hardware, Audi Sport has been working on the calibration of the existing dynamic components, with a revised set-up for the Dynamic Steering system, which now has a ratio locked in at 1:13.1, plus updated parameters for the Sport Differential mounted on the rear axle, enabling it to lock faster and offer more aggressive torque vectoring.

The engine itself is unchanged – the twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 still producing 444bhp and 442lb ft of torque – but some of the peripheral elements have received attention, including software tweaks for the eight-speed automatic transmission to shorten shift times and create a greater distinction in shift feel between transmission modes. This small change on its own helps yield a subtle 0.2sec drop in the 0-62mph time, now 3.9sec.

Also upping the ‘sportiness’, as the Germans might say, is a more vocal RS sports exhaust system and the removal of some of the interior’s sound deadening around the engine bay and dashboard, which will hopefully give the cars a bit of more aural character – this tweak also drops kerb weight by 8kg as an added benefit.

The Audi RS4 Avant Competition doesn't come cheap, with its £84,600 starting price almost £15,000 above the ordinary car. The standard fitment of carbon-ceramic brakes and those new coilovers does help justify the price hike though, with a limited run of 75 UK cars boosting its desirability.

While the notion of a more expensive Competition version with no extra grunt may initially disappoint, it’s the chassis that has the most to gain from a technical update. However, it remains a big ask for the RS4 to compete with the new BMW M3 or Alfa Romeo’s Giulia Quadrifoglio.

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