Spy shots

Next generation Audi A4 Avant prototype spied – basis of the last RS4?

Audi’s new key legacy model is on its way

A prototype of the next generation Audi A4 has been spotted flaunting its production body on public roads, giving us our first look at what might well be the last combustion-engined version, and therefore the last RS4 in its familiar form. 

Given the emphasis all manufacturers are putting on the development of bespoke electric vehicle model lines, the next A4 is expected to share its MLB Evo platform and powertrains in-large with the current generation, only with a further emphasis on electrification.

Instead, the next A4 will likely focus on design and technological advances, especially inside which will introduce a new interior design theme that’ll move on significantly from the current generation. 

Audi Sport variants will return, with timing suggesting that the next generation RS4 will almost certainly adopt plug-in hybrid powertrains. This will also be the last RS4 model in its traditional form, especially given the model’s European market focus.

As this prototype previews, the exterior design will be an evolution of Audi’s current design language, but with some key changes that should completely change the way many of the exterior elements sit. Firstly, the single frame grille appears to be significantly smaller than before – an unusual deviation from the current trend – and joined with a new lower opening.

The slim LED headlights that flank the new grille sit lower on the nose, leaving a significant gap between them and the leading edge of the bonnet which now sits entirely atop the front wings – another key difference to the clamshell that defines the current B9 generation. 

Audi also looks to be emphasising width around the wheel arches in a similar fashion to the current A3, so too the relative softness of the lights and windowline that are all a distinct contrast to the razor sharp detailing of the current model. 

Just like the next A6, Audi will introduce something called an A4 e-tron, but rather than being an electric version of an IC model, will utilise Audi’s new PPE platform that’s currently being co-developed with Porsche. For now, we’ll have to wait to find out more specifics, but there’s still likely to be a wait until we see the new model as the current model cycle timing suggests a 2023 debut – leaving a perfect seven year gap until the 2030 petrol car ban to make the most of this last A4 as we know it. 

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