New 2023 Audi S4 gears up to rival Mercedes-AMG C43

99 disguised Audi S4 front

Warmed-up junior estate is spied testing in updated form; will get one final outing with a combustion engine

The next generation of the Audi S4 Avant has been spotted testing in public for the first time, ahead of its expected 2023 launch.

Styled similarly to the standard Audi A4 Avant, the hot estate gets a lower and wider front grille, slimmer headlights and a more angular roofline to the previous model, released in 2017. In true S4 fashion, it also gets its signature dual-exit exhausts.

Inside, pictures show what looks to be a floating instrument panel behind a new square-bottomed steering wheel. Also shown is a clean centre console, suggesting a lot of the cabin’s physical controls have been integrated into the touchscreen infotainment system.

Audi has also ditched the traditional gear selector, instead opting for a new toggle-based system for its automatic gearbox, which is expected to be either a seven-speed dual-clutch or eight-speed torque-converter unit.

The six-speed manual gearbox available on today’s S4 will be made redundant as part of plans to reduce parts complexity, Audi has previously said.

The BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes-AMG C43 Estate rival is expected to get an upgrade on its current 342bhp diesel V6, having switched from petrol back in 2019.

The new standard A4 Avant is tipped to get a fifth-generation version of Audi’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol unit.

Autocar understands the new A4 will also run an updated version of the current model’s aluminium-intensive multi-link front and rear suspension, so expect to see this on the S4, along with active damping.

The updated A4 line-up will be topped by an RS4 Avant hybrid. This will retain its twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre petrol V6 but is in line to receive electric assistance that will lift its output beyond 444bhp and 443lb ft.

An electric-only four-wheel-drive performance RS mode is also planned as Audi moves ahead to an all-electric line-up by 2033. It will launch its final ICE car in 2026.

Also under development in Ingolstadt is the new electric A4 E-tron. Set to challenge the Tesla Model 3 and newly unveiled BMW i4, it’s based around the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture that has been developed in a joint engineering programme between Audi and Volkswagen Group sibling company Porsche.

Source: Autocar

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