It’s fascinating to watch how a car changes over time. Just look at how much the Ford Taurus has changed over nearly two decades. They look unrelated save for the badge on the trunk. However, in other vehicles, you can see a direct lineage through the years such as the Audi RS4 Avant. Auditography was able to get together a first-generation B5 Audi RS4 Avant from 2001 and sits it next to its latest descendant, the 2018 Audi RS4 Avant B9.

RS4 Avant dyno-tested:

The differences are noticeable. The B9 is larger than its predecessors, but not by much. The B9 is a tad longer and wider than the 2001 model. The front and rear are completely different, obviously. Crash test standards have only gotten stricter since 2001. Both have large wheels, the RS badge, and Audi’s iconic four-ring emblem. The B9 has a rear hatch that slopes more than the one on the B5.

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Under the hood, the engines are drastically different on paper. The 2018 RS4 packs a 2.9-liter biturbo V6 making 444 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque (600 Newton-meters).  The 2001 RS4 has a 2.7-liter biturbo V6. Originally, the 2.7-liter produced 375 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque (440 Nm). However, the B5 Auditography has here is listed as having 460 hp and 442 pound-feet of torque (600 Nm). An increase in performance is expected. Other changes include the new 2018 model moving to an eight-speed transmission with paddle shifters while the 2001 RS4 has a six-speed manual. Both have Quattro all-wheel drive.

The Nardo Grey may not be as iconic as the Nogaro Blue, but both look stunning. Wagons are a bit like trucks when you think about it. There are only so many ways to design a wagon before it’s no longer a wagon – like a truck. Everything is the same while at the same time nothing has changed. Yes, technology, tastes, and expectations change, but the RS4 Avant is one of the few vehicles that looks great regardless if you’re looking at the newest model or the first.

Photos, Video: Auditography

Gallery: 2001 Audi RS4 Avant and 2018 Audi RS4 Avant

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