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Recently our friends over at Car & Driver published a story suggesting a new RS 4 wasn’t to be. Contacts of ours years ago confirmed an RS 4 sedan would have never been in the cards anyway as the 4-door buyer was predominantly also the RS 5 buyer. Still, our information about a RS 4 Avant was from a reliable source and, since I have no doubt C&D’s Jens Meiners is also well (and likely more recently) informed, this has gotten me thinking why the RS 4 may have been axed… at least for now.

Why? It can’t be for lack of sales. Audi is having a banner year, though it is true that the RS 5 hasn’t been all that well received by the press… at least in the all-important compare articles. I remember the first time a highly placed source at Audi AG told me about the RS 5 project with its high-rev V8 from the RS 4 bumped 30 hp with an extra intake. The move seemed lackluster and I, along with seemingly the rest of the motoring press, dreamed of something more radical.

Rumor stories around the press during this time prior to the RS 5’s launch still suggested it might get the V10 biturbo from the RS 6. “It can’t be done,” said my source. “It simply wouldn’t fit.”

Normally well-connected and very in-the-know CAR Magazine held to the belief that the car would be some turbocharged V8.



Then, a few months later, my source told me about the 4.0T. This new V8 biturbo would be an interesting prospect. With everything nestled inside the V as seen on similar engines from BMW, I was told the engine (at this time still prior to the RS 5) would not go into the RS 5 but instead debut in the A8. Turns out the only official confirmation thus far about 4.0T is as a base engine for the Bentley Continental GT, though solid intel from multiple sources suggests it’ll also see duty in the A8, S8, S6, S7, RS 7 and, if there is one, an RS 6.

Fast forward a couple of years. The RS 5 is launched. Though beautiful to look at and a very comfortable GT, the car still lags behind competitors such as the BMW M3 or Nissan GT-R in the eyes of the motoring press. Yes it’s good but the question is whether it is good enough to warrant such a pricing premium.

We had a chance to drive Audi of America’s RS 5 around for a few hours last summer near Audi headquarters in the Washington suburbs of Herndon, Virginia. Naturally we decided to do a few roll-on comparisons with our own 4 Season S4 and the results were pretty astonishing. The RS 5 looked, sounded and felt faster but it just couldn’t pull on the S4 in side-by-side roll-ons. That a 3.0T S5 coupe is expected to go on sale alongside the RS 5 won’t help matters.

When we received first word of the RS 5’s confirmation for North America we were astonished to hear it would not arrive here until the summer of 2012 as a 2013 model. The reason, we’re told, is that it doesn’t pay to federalize the car twice. The logic goes that rather than doing it for 2010 or 2011 and then ending the run in 2012, Audi chose to wait and space it after the launch of next year’s TT RS. This makes sense, but given the current car isn’t faring all that well in comparison testing, I can’t imagine the car’s showing will be any stronger in the summer of 2012.

Thinking this through, a theory began to form in my head round about last spring. Could Audi AG be planning a switch to the 4.0T. Might this be the reason Audi of America chose to wait so long? That would make a lot of sense but getting any confirmation of this has been impossible.

When my German contact mentioned the 4.0T initially I brought up the RS 5. “That car engine would be perfect for the car,” I stated to him. This was prior to the RS 5 even being shown and he simply responded that it would get the high-rev 4.2.

Now that the RS 5 is available in the European market, I revisited the subject with a high-placed contact in North America who would know. He flatly discounted the idea. “There’s no way we’d make such a big change mid-cycle as part of the p.i. (product improvement).”

He’d be right, if Audi were planning a facelift like we saw on the TT or the C6 A6.



Chatting about the A5, another German contact on the design side said the redesign (for the A5) will be pretty significant. “Think B6 to B7,” I was told.

“Nearly every panel (on the outside” will be redesigned.

Interesting. When the A4 moved from B6 to B7, it also had a major change in engine offerings with the exception of the S4.

I mentioned my 4.0T theory to another contact at Audi who claimed he wasn’t informed on the plan was for the B8 cars but quite likely was aware given his field of work. “It’s an interesting theory,” he stated and continued.

“Think about it. Mercedes-Benz developed that 6.3 for AMG and it’s been installing it in pretty much everything. It’s a solid strategy that saves quite a bit on development. If Audi did develop this 4.0T, it might make a lot of sense to put it in every performance car it could.”

And therein is the logic. My best guess is that the 4.0T is being developed in multiple tunes. I hear it may go into A8 as en engine option above 3.0T once the 4.2 is phased out and it is the expected engine planned for the S6, S7, RS 7 and S8. Lower states of tune will likely slot in above the 3.0T and a middle or highest states of tune would see duty in cars like the S and RS cars as well as the aforementioned Bentley. By the time the 2013 RS 5 comes to market, likely the only remaining 4.2 in the Audi fleet will be the R8 and perhaps that car may even switch over when a successor is revealed. The 4.0T will already be on the market by then, finally introduced in the A8 as my German contact first suggested several years ago. You see where I’m going here.

CAR Magazine may have been correct stating the RS 5 would be a turbocharged V8. They may have simply been too far ahead of the news curve.

I believe the RS 5 will migrate to the 4.0T. It is important to disclose that all the facts I know in regards to this have been included in this story. No one at Audi has suggested this will happen but logic suggests it might and there’s a big part of my heart that hopes it will. I don’t’ see a reason why the RS 5 would not retain the 7-speed S-tronic transmission and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive.

The performance potential of such a car is hard to deny. My guess is that the press would be more than smitten with this setup, while the aftermarket would be foaming at the mouth.

As for the RS 4 Avant, we aren’t counting that one out. The RS 4 went on hiatus once before during the B6 generation. Audi could have easily gone with the generation skip as it has before in order to build demand for its ultimate performance wagon and also to give the first-generation RS 5 a foot hold in the market. Car & Driver’s intel may be entirely correct, but that doesn’t exactly spell the RS 4’s ultimate demise. To the contrary, if my theory is correct then the RS 4 Avant will be much more the car the Audi enthusiast market is looking for. I’d be willing to bet we still won’t get it in the US though.
 

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Dear G,
I can see what you are trying to foresee but your logic makes sense only when applied to next gen a4/a5 line and only as FI V6(or I5?!) option for RS4/5. I am sure that you know that those are models are from so called ''B'' segment/class in product planning circle (same as BMW's 3er, Merc C klasse) and having V8 FI in such line with ''RS'' state of tune (read ''highest possible'') could easily mean near 600 PS which is RS6/7 (M5, E63) territory, so makes no sense to play in that region. German manufacturers don't do such things, mixing apples with oranges, or putting same engines in RS4/5 and RS6/7. It's been confirmed by very reliable source that few months ago that RS4 Avant is on the way and it'll share the same ''underpinnings'' with RS5. Same source confirmed this is the last n/a V8 in such class.
Also, A5 product update is due in 2011 as 2012 model and it'll not effect the RS5 drastically (possibly only new light graphics as you suggested in your renderings), so NA will see the RS5 by the end of year or beginning of 2012 latest as also 2012 model.
Drastic changes as happened with B6/7 are not to be expected anymore with Audis (at least not with only PU changes) since they are going for continuity and customer satisfaction lately (note. - B6/7 change happened only because Walter Da Silva took over reigns in Audi and started new brand identity implementation at that time!).
Best,
D
:beer: :biggrinsanta:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dear G,
I can see what you are trying to foresee but your logic makes sense only when applied to next gen a4/a5 line and only as FI V6(or I5?!) option for RS4/5.
Of course I'm making assumptions and I'll admit I'm sure my heart is clouding the issue for me. I've stated all that in the story. Still, here're my arguments against the two suggestions you make above (V6 and I5).

1. I5 is likely a non-starter. Everyone would like to see that engine go into the A4/A5 but it is both very long and very tall.... longer than the V10. I have two sources for V10 fitment in B-segment cars. One is the development chief for the quattro Concept project (says it won't fit) and the other is Wolfgang Hatz, head of powertrain for the Volkswagen Group and former board member at Audi. He was the one who told me the V10 would not fit in the A5 chassis. You can assume then the longer I5 will also not fit. Sure yeah, they can make it fit on a low-production quattro Concept if they build that but putting it in a mainstream car like an RS 4 or RS 5 is a whole other thing. Could it be done? I guess. Will it be done? I doubt it.

2. With the V6 you have two options. Build a higher hp supercharged version (good for over 400 hp in that Q5 SEMA/Worthersee car) or do go with a biturbo. Hatz was also the one who told me superchargers don't suit RS cars. Biturbo or high-rev suit RS cars. Yes, Audi did develop (to a point) a biturbo V6 in its B7 RS 4 process that was scuttled for V8 and it again revisited the idea for the B8 S4 and was again canned in favor of the supercharger system. It's not that they haven't looked into it but introducing yet another engine into the mix is a costly endeavor and what's the point. If 3.0T fills the gap up to 4.0T, why develop yet another V6 biturbo?

3. As for putting this engine in a B-segment car, I go back to my contact who mentioned Benz. I hadn't even thought of Benz when I first had the idea of 4.0T but my contact brought it up. AMG developed the 6.3 and they literally put it nearly everything including the C63 AMG. A 4.0T RS 4/5 would be lighter in the nose than a C63 and one might argue the engine more suitable to such an application. I doubt it would weigh much more than the current setup and rumor is the M3 may go turbocharged as well.

It's been confirmed by very reliable source that few months ago that RS4 Avant is on the way and it'll share the same ''underpinnings'' with RS5. Same source confirmed this is the last n/a V8 in such class.
My intel told me the same thing. RS 5 drivetrain would be identical to RS 5 and that RS 4 would come but as an Avant. That's when I did the render you see above of a B8 RS 4 Avant. However, my intel is a bit dates at this point (over a year) and we still haven't even seen an RS 4 in testing at the Nurburgring. Until we see some mules, we can assume the car is more than 6 months out. I've been beginning to wonder what the holdup was. Then I saw the aforementioned Jens Meiners piece in C&D this month and it had me revisit this theory. Maybe the RS 5's poor reception in the press helped Audi management to make the decision to put off RS 4 Avant until B9 for some reason. If that's true, then maybe one reason might be the addition of a 4.0T.

Also, A5 product update is due in 2011 as 2012 model and it'll not effect the RS5 drastically (possibly only new light graphics as you suggested in your renderings), so NA will see the RS5 by the end of year or beginning of 2012 latest as also 2012 model.
I don't have hard intel on B9 A5 for Europe but I have solid word on the RS 5 for America and am making assumptions on that. My contacts were still telling me summer 2012 as a 2013 model for US RS 5 as recently as last summer.

Drastic changes as happened with B6/7 are not to be expected anymore with Audis (at least not with only PU changes) since they are going for continuity and customer satisfaction lately (note. - B6/7 change happened only because Walter Da Silva took over reigns in Audi and started new brand identity implementation at that time!).
Stefan Sielaff is just one of the people who suggested the updating for A5 will be quite thorough. I qualify that as credible.

In the end, you're right, this is all conjecture. However, it's very educated conjecture. ;)

Thanks for the input. You might be right but I'm hoping I am. ;)
 

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I am also curious to see how will they resolve V6 FI dilemma for future RS4/5. Don't think that fitting compressor would suite RS badge either, but you never know... As for the V8 4.0 tt - we are targeting a ball park hp figure of around 450 ps in order to be placed well in respect to other RS models as I previously mentioned above. So, that figure is easily accessible with such layout and it won't scream with high-tech RS engine wizardry as past RS models (including imo RS5 n/a 4.2l which is pure art!), so that would not be possible... As recently mentioned, top range of A6/7 regular lines (which is S6/7 as per latest product placement strategy) will receive that engine! So it's either high rev n/a or heavily tuned FI (read 3rd stage!) for RS badge from now on!
RS5 order book is full and in some European western countries it takes even 9 months to be delivered.. So no problem with current layout obviously! :) :bs:
A4/5 facelift due next year will maintain current internal code (B8) and it might get heavily amended bumpers, headlights graphics, MMI, interior trim, what have you, but only for non RS models (apart possibly lights), so as such won't receive new B9 code. You have to understand that what is ''heavy makeover'' for an Audi designer, is nothing but mild change for regular people.
I don't mind that you have your own dreams, but at least keep one foot on the ground! ;) :wave:
 

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i think it will be looking more like this:

4.0TFSI - 3993cc – 90° V8 – 10.5:1CR

408PS @ 5,800 rpm - 600Nm @ 1,750 – 5,300 rpm
To be used in the Audi (S5 ?) S6, S7 en A8.

510PS @ 6,200 rpm - 700Nm @ 3,500 rpm
To be used in the Bentley Continental GT, Silver Spur en Audi S8.
 

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And this is an interesting parallel with the Audi R18 TDI racing car, as it's reportedly running it's turbos within the engine's V.

Also, the 4.0T makes sense, as it seems to be based on the basic 4.2 V8's block and heads unless it's a 100% clean sheet of paper design. If it's based on the 4.2, it can be made on the same machinery and thus save capital and investment costs.

We gotta remember that the 4.2 V8 in it's basic form is one of Audi's oldest engines on the market right now, and can trace it's roots to the 3.6 V8 in the Audi V8 quattro of 1989. Since then, it's been heavily facelifted (40 valve heads for a time and currently FSI and high revving valve train), but it needs something even bigger now to stay in the game. And either a supercharger or turbos will do that.

And I think that Audi's work on the R15 Le Mans car and VAG's ownership of Porsche will help out there for the turbo route, as Garrett made the VTG turbos on the R15 and the R18, and Borg Warner/KKK does the same for the Porsche 911 turbo. Such turbos have basically no lag and don't have the parasitic drag of a supercharger, even as good as the Eaton unit on the S4 is. So Audi can kill two birds with one stone there.

Forced induction is the best route right now, as you can get the power and torque of a larger engine, without the fuel mileage penalites and you don't have to rev the engines to make the power, either.
 

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i think it will be looking more like this:

4.0TFSI - 3993cc – 90° V8 – 10.5:1CR

408PS @ 5,800 rpm - 600Nm @ 1,750 – 5,300 rpm
To be used in the Audi (S5 ?) S6, S7 en A8.

510PS @ 6,200 rpm - 700Nm @ 3,500 rpm
To be used in the Bentley Continental GT, Silver Spur en Audi S8.
:thumbup::thumbup:

Spot on! But same as George said - no v8 in S5!
 

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George, isn't the lukewarm sentiment of the press based primarily on the clumsiness and lack of feel and adjustability of the RS5 chassis? I haven't been paying as much attention as I usually do to the reviews, but it seems like the criticism has all centered around driving dynamics and not the pace afforded by the high rev 4.2. If that is indeed the case, it doesn't seem like even more power and slightly more weight over the front axle are going to make a winner out of the RS5.

As an aside, I have to say I myself am disappointed with the RS5 because I had thought it was going to be the car to continue on in the spirit of the B6 RS4 - the one Audi model that has been almost universally applauded for its dynamics. Just looking at the ingredients the RS5 should have been a comparable car, perhaps an even better one with the optimised front axle placement. Instead, it is DSG only and seems to be tuned more like a large GT.

Curious about your thoughts.

David
 

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Reading between the lines..

I have to agree with George on this one, I thought the facelift A5/S5 was due next year (MY 2012) and the S5 is to receive the 3.0T? So why wait a year after that to send the RS5 which would have been on the Euro market for quite some time, without making major changes. If the 4.0T isn't introduced into the RS5 for the U.S. it should be the 2.5T or 3.0T(the B7 S4 & RS4 shared a similar engine designation and consumers did not care) in some high state of tune with a 6MT only IMO.
 

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I would not be surprised to see the RS5 not returning after the facelift (product Improvement) and instead the introduction of the RS4.
In that case they can clear the road for a 4.0TFSI engined S5. ;)
 

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George, I believe you need to spend much more time behind the wheel of an RS5 before deciding it requires a new engine. The journalists you mention tend to judge a car such as the RS5 by how well it performs tail slides around a race track rather than all weather abilities on the public highway (the reason they also hated the TTRS at launch). Having said that, "Autocar" probably the UKs most unbiased and accurate car magazine has the RS5 faster around its racetrack than a Mercedes SL63 AMG,Porsche 911 Carrera PDK,and Audi RS4/6/TTRS. This indicates that the combination of a high revving V8,quattro/torque vectoring/sport diff etc has produced a very fast track car as well as street car (0 to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds). A car such RS5 is defined by its engine and changing its naturally aspirated high revving V8 to a lower revving 4.0L Turbo V8 would simply make it a mini RS6.
 

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The 3 main reasons i will never buy a RS5 are:

* much to heavy.
* No Manual gearbox option.
* N/A engine.

Make it at leased 300 kilo lighter, put in a Manual gearbox and a 4.0TFSI engine and i may have a look at it.
 

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The 3 main reasons i will never buy a RS5 are:

* much to heavy.
* No Manual gearbox option.
* N/A engine.

Make it at leased 300 kilo lighter, put in a Manual gearbox and a 4.0TFSI engine and i may have a look at it.
Once again, the 4.0TFSI to be worthy RS engine it MUST have at least 1.4 power to capacity ratio (which is 560ps), which will NEVER happen in RS5 (B segment), so everyone stop dreaming and be more realistic and thankful of what had been achieved. :banghead:
 

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Once again, the 4.0TFSI to be worthy RS engine it MUST have at least 1.4 power to capacity ratio (which is 560ps), which will NEVER happen in RS5 (B segment), so everyone stop dreaming and be more realistic and thankful of what had been achieved. :banghead:
And what have been achieved. :confused:
A heavy Pig with a N/A engine, yah i can see the "Vorsrung Durch Technik" in that.
 

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And what have been achieved. :confused:
A heavy Pig with a N/A engine, yah i can see the "Vorsrung Durch Technik" in that.
It's not that heavy when you consider what is coming with the package: quattro, sport differential, DRC, long list of standard equipment... Similarly equipped, difference between it and the M3 comes in mere 100kg which is quattro penalty only and that's been ''achieved''! It hides it's weight very well and produces even better lap times in most occasions.
http://www.fastestlaps.com/comparisons/Audi_RS_5-vs-_BMW_M3_E92_DKG.html

For example the GTR is even heavier and no one complains.

That is Vorsprung for me, my friend....
:beer:
 

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Interesting post on facebook!

Audiusa posted this today on facebook:
"Happy New Year from Audi USA! In 2011, Audi will be delivering several new models here in the U.S. — the stylish Audi A7, sporty TT RS, aggressive RS5, and ultra-rare R8 GT are just a few of next year's most anticipated vehicles. Which new Audi model tops your wish list for 2011?"

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=479351246469&set=a.101113351469.101662.96585976469

If the TT RS is going to be delivered Q3 of 2011 and Audi is now stating the RS5 will be released in 2011? That means the gap between will be little if not none!
 

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George, I believe you need to spend much more time behind the wheel of an RS5 before deciding it requires a new engine. The journalists you mention tend to judge a car such as the RS5 by how well it performs tail slides around a race track rather than all weather abilities on the public highway (the reason they also hated the TTRS at launch). Having said that, "Autocar" probably the UKs most unbiased and accurate car magazine has the RS5 faster around its racetrack than a Mercedes SL63 AMG,Porsche 911 Carrera PDK,and Audi RS4/6/TTRS. This indicates that the combination of a high revving V8,quattro/torque vectoring/sport diff etc has produced a very fast track car as well as street car (0 to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds). A car such RS5 is defined by its engine and changing its naturally aspirated high revving V8 to a lower revving 4.0L Turbo V8 would simply make it a mini RS6.
To a degree, I have to agree with this. I think that the Oz and UK press have been spoiled by cars like the Ford Falcon/FPV family, Holden Commodore/HSV E series, and the Commodore's UK compatriot the Vauxhall VXR8 and the fact that BMWs and M-B's are primarily RWD.

There's a difference between a fun track-day car and a car that guarenteed to be consistantly fast around a racetrack and is usable in everyday life. A BMW M3 coupe will likely get stuck in a ditch where I live in winter, while an RS5 will stand a reasonable chance to staying out of one depending on the compentency of the driver.

I'll grant you, I'd kill to have have Ford import some versions of the Falcon or GM import the Commodore like they do though Vauxhall with their VXR8 badged version of the HSV E series Commodores in the UK. But an Audi performance sedan with quattro is much more livable on an everyday basis. The only sore spot there is price, but Audi doesn't compete head to had with Ford Austrailia, Holden, or Vauxhall. They compete against BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and Audi's generally undercut them with most of their offering while often bringing as much if not more to the table.

However, since Audi's big push is for efficency, a low revving, forced induction V8 or of the like could be what the doctor ordered--you get power and economy. It's a formula that's worked for the Audi S4 and the BMW 335i. It should work, as the 4.0T is likely to be widely applied across the range.
 

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Audiusa posted this today on facebook:
"Happy New Year from Audi USA! In 2011, Audi will be delivering several new models here in the U.S. — the stylish Audi A7, sporty TT RS, aggressive RS5, and ultra-rare R8 GT are just a few of next year's most anticipated vehicles. Which new Audi model tops your wish list for 2011?"

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=479351246469&set=a.101113351469.101662.96585976469

If the TT RS is going to be delivered Q3 of 2011 and Audi is now stating the RS5 will be released in 2011? That means the gap between will be little if not none!
Finally! This puts an end to this speculation and saga about 4.0 tfsi in RS5 and/or RS4...
Next generation guys! Sorry but that's life!!! :p
 
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