Remember that test mule we ran just yesterday, the one we thought might be an S4 Avant? We cross-posted that story to our B8 S4 forum and may have been quickly schooled by a few of our readers. And their theories were solid, solid enough for us to take a second look and likely agree with them.
The spy photographers we work with in Germany sent these over yesterday saying "S4" and while we did take note of the 20-inch A8 wheels we didn't think (or look) much beyond that when we ran the story. Perhaps we should have.
Often worth listening to when they post, BogdanR32 and darkop both theorized that though this car doesn't have the wider arches or RS 5 wheels like the ones on the RS 5 test mule spy photos we ran at the end of March , the 20-inch wheels were out of place and looked like they hid Audi Ceramic brakes.... a very RS feature.
Here's a quote from BogdanR32
I think there is a mistake here: in my view this thread should be under "new RS4" category, not S4 facelift and I will explain why.
Yes, there are no wide wheelarches and that was what through me off the first time I saw these pictures, BUT: front bumber very much like TTRS/ RS3/ RS5 generation and, more important and I don't know how you guys didn't pick up on that: look closely at those wheels- they should be 20'' in my opinion and then look at the front disc and caliper. As a RS4 owner with ceramic front discs, I almost can bet that those brakes are ceramics with 6 pot caliper. Think they will put that in an S4...???
The theory makes sense. To better examine Bogdan's theory, we've generated some comparison images based on high-resolution originals we'd received from our sources. As you can see, the brakes may not be badged "Audi Ceramic" with the trademark red Audi Sport red parallelogram logo but the caliper is the same color and the rotor appears to actually be bigger than the "base" RS brake seen on the original RS 4 mule.
Just out of curiosity, we looked even further at the two mules. Another detail of the "S4" mule we ran yesterday was that nose. The grille and fascia look like they are definitely newer 2013 facelift parts but the taped up portions look as if they're narrowing the opening to perhaps de-emphasize and not fully reveal the new RS chin. If this mule is an RS 4 that its testing team were trying to downplay and de-emphasize its RS spec then the tape would be consistent with the lack of wider arches and RS wheels yet still basically allow for testing... albeit with some restricted airflow.
We've also sent a note over to our German sources to see if we can get the number of the blurred out plates on the "S4". If the car has HN (Neckarsulm) tags then it's likely an RS 4 and if it has "IN" tags it's likely an S4 as that would be consistent with how Audi and its subsidiary quattro GmbH manage their test fleets. We'll post an update when if/when we get that plate number though we won't post it in its entirety.
So what do you think? S4 or RS 4? Post below in the comments or, better yet, post with BogdanR32, darkop and the rest in our B8 S4 Forum.