With roadmaps clearly oriented towards the electrification of their ranges, the sports divisions of the European premium manufacturers must follow in the same footsteps as the rest of the models. Audi Sport will not be an exception, and one of its most emblematic and long-lived models in its range, the Audi RS4, will become a plug-in hybrid car in your next generation.
The proof of this has come in the form of spy photos, certified, on the one hand, by a sticker that reveals the camouflaged car that appears in the images as a plug-in hybrid, and on the other, and as the photographers who are the authors of the gallery testify that accompanies these lines, for a engine sound much more forceful than usual in plug-in hybrid cars. It is for this last reason that they have qualified it, directly, as the first test mule of the next RS4 that hits the road.
It is true, however, that the test mule that has been hunted in the vicinity of Sierra Nevada did not carry the muscular bodywork that is usual in this model since before, even, that it was derived from the Audi A4 (the first model of the series was actually the Audi RS2).
Based on this last aspect, it is possible that the model that appears in the images is a first prototype in charge of testing only the plug-in hybrid scheme in real circumstances and not the cycle part, or taking the speculations furtherit is also possible that it is the next Audi S4 Avant instead of the RS4.
It should be remembered that the latest iteration of the S4 has had a six-cylinder diesel block under its hood, without any electrical assistance, so a plug-in hybrid scheme seems like a logical preliminary step to full electrification, while the RS4 can still endure one generation plus a block without any electrification.
The test mule in question has also revealed what will be, in large part, the interior of the next Audi A4. A central console with a much cleaner and more diaphanous design than in the current Audi models, a double screen as ‘tablets’ on the dashboard, and a steering wheel that shows the shapes and proportions of the latest models presented by the company, will be those responsible for updating the interior of Audi’s D-segment sedan.
Be that as it may, the truth is that one of the two main rivals of the RS4, the Mercedes-AMG C 63, has already been confirmed as an imminent high-flying plug-in hybrid, while the BMW M3, which has just been presented by BMW in both saloon and family Touring forms, has postponed its electrification for one more generation. The model that is to come from Affalterbach, the one from AMG, will carry a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that, thanks to the assistance of probably two (or three) electric motors, will far exceed 600 horsepower.
Sales of the new generation Aud A4 are scheduled to start in 2023, so its presentation could take place as soon as in the next few months, or at the latest at the beginning of next year. The RS4, predictably, will be revealed months after the model on which it is based, so we may still be more than a year away from seeing it in its final production form.