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    Audi News Blog

    Is This JonSibal Render the Face of the New RS 4? Evidence Suggests It Just May Be.

    Rating: 5 votes, 4.20 average.


    Just after we'd announced the winner this of our RS 4 Render Contest , well-known render artist Jon Sibal stepped up with a very interesting shot... similar to his version 2 above and the only artist to add in the box-style flares of the RS 5. Alas, Jon was too late to get in on the competition for the prize, but we think everyone would agree his work is top notch and win-worthy. Then Jon sent us a curve ball, a different take (seen above) and based on some evidence from a mysterious source. Now this is most interesting.



    Since doing his render, Jon was sent the above image and several more. The collection of shots, viewable on his blog via the link below, depicts what look like they might be production RS 4 bumpers and were from a known source of ours as well who is notorious for finding interesting backchannel media on the internet.

    Jon looked the shots over and rather deftly mimicked the look in his second render, seen at the top. We've also looked them over and done some quick sleuthing. So what's our take?

    Frankly, we wish we had an RS 5 bumper to use as comparison. The images show the bumpers from both the fascia side and the inner side, so you can see how they're assembled. With ugly dirty hardwood flooring as a backdrop and the word "auto-plast" watermarked on the shots, these are clearly not taken in some clean and sterile Audi factory or design studio.

    We googled "Auto-Plast" and came up with any number of hits. One was a component supplier in Northern Europe that could be credible as they list work for Porsche that we found on our quick perusal of their site. Another was a plastic component manufacturer in India and yet another was an accessories company in Eastern Europe. Of course there were countless more and we weren't able to find this watermark in any other images that we could then trace. Knowing the source would be helpful.

    These are not top quality photos, but from what we can tell the finishes don't look production... but they could be prototype. The rear valance doesn't seem to fit in a way we've experienced on the B8 S4 and the exhaust tips seem moulded in... which is odd. We were ready to chalk these up as a seriously impressive on the part of the aftermarket, but a few critical things nag at that theory and suggest legitimacy.

    First, if you were an aftermarket company, why do a B7 facelift body kit. Understanding the OE+ trend there's no doubt that owners would flock to a kit that made their A4 look like an RS 4 and with OEM-looking details like grilles and inserts. Still, this component is clearly for the B8 facelift and if we were going to invest our money in such a kit we'd think it would be a safer move to do an early B8 kit more consistent with known RS design language. There'd be more of a market for that.



    In the end, how we draw our conclusion is based on the test mules. We've got numerous RS 4 spy photos from the Nurburgring with B8 facelift shots in the mix (the car with white psychadelic wrap. Something that's always bothered us about the spy pics is how much smaller those frowning intakes are than the ones on the RS 5. If Sibal's render and those mysterious bumper shots are accurate, this would explain the bumper masking on the Nurburgring test mules. If the Audi Design Team were about to implement a change in the RS face, no doubt they'd want to hide it until it's revealed. Those outer openings likely don't effect airflow anyway so they could be hidden. And for the record, spy shots of the RS 6 show similar smaller mouths and hidden sections, suggesting the face will consistently go across all new RS cars.


    If this is the case, then Audi's choice to not do new language on the RS 5 is an odd one. With the A5 and A4 facelifts timed closely together, you have to wondeer why they didn't do a similar change on the RS 5.

    Make sure to check out Jon Sibal's blog via the link below. Jon's got all of the mysterious bumper pics that you can investigate for yourself. He's also got two renders of the RS 4, one with a look like the RS 5 and one with the new face as seen in the grainy bumper shots.

    Full Story

    Comments

    1. tanel's Avatar
      Why do you consider it odd, that the exhaust tips are integrated into the rear bumper? It has been like that on all types of R8's and RS5.

      The thing is that S models don't have their exhaust pipes going through the bumper, but are technically below the bumper, and therefore the tips can be connected to the real pipes. On all the models where the tip is surrounded by the bumper, the pipes are not linked to the tip due to the vibration issues. Basically connecting the pipes with the tips e.g. on RS5 would create an awful rattling noise with engine running.

      I think also Q7 V12 had these fake exhaust tips...
      Updated 02-09-2012 at 11:21 AM by tanel
    2. R5T's Avatar
      The TT RS also have them.
    3. George@Fourtitude's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by tanel
      Why do you consider it odd, that the exhaust tips are integrated into the rear bumper? It has been like that on all types of R8's and RS5.

      The thing is that S models don't have their exhaust pipes going through the bumper, but are technically below the bumper, and therefore the tips can be connected to the real pipes. On all the models where the tip is surrounded by the bumper, the pipes are not linked to the tip due to the vibration issues. Basically connecting the pipes with the tips e.g. on RS5 would create an awful rattling noise with engine running.

      I think also Q7 V12 had these fake exhaust tips...
      Thanks. I haven't looked at the inside of the bumper/tip configuration on those cars. I stand corrected. More evidence this may be it.
    4. George@Fourtitude's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by George@Fourtitude
      Thanks. I haven't looked at the inside of the bumper/tip configuration on those cars. I stand corrected. More evidence this may be it.
      More confusion. Jon Sibal has sent us a link he's just come across of these bumpers supposedly for sale. Even this is confusing because the facelift A4 is just barely on the market, leaving little time for an aftermarket company to actually have B8 facelift product available. Forget for a moment that we've never really seen a body kit manufacturer producing with all of the trim and part details as this (usually cut-to-fit mesh grilles and the like), even large dealership-pased companies like Abt Sportsline with all their vaunted factory connections have only thus far shown photoshops of B8 facelift product. How this Polish-based website would have B8 facelift bumpers produced to such a level of detail is beyond us. We suspect this is the source of the photos though as it clearly depicts them in higher-resolution than any other place we've seen thus far.

      http://allegro.pl/audi-rs-4-8k0-zder...100446153.html

      So what do you think? Fake? Real?
    5. tanel's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by George@Fourtitude
      More confusion. Jon Sibal has sent us a link he's just come across of these bumpers supposedly for sale. Even this is confusing because the facelift A4 is just barely on the market, leaving little time for an aftermarket company to actually have B8 facelift product available. Forget for a moment that we've never really seen a body kit manufacturer producing with all of the trim and part details as this (usually cut-to-fit mesh grilles and the like), even large dealership-pased companies like Abt Sportsline with all their vaunted factory connections have only thus far shown photoshops of B8 facelift product. How this Polish-based website would have B8 facelift bumpers produced to such a level of detail is beyond us. We suspect this is the source of the photos though as it clearly depicts them in higher-resolution than any other place we've seen thus far.

      http://allegro.pl/audi-rs-4-8k0-zder...100446153.html

      So what do you think? Fake? Real?
      Tough call, definately.
      1. 5500zl is about 1300, which is a bit cheap for a set of RS bumpers which include the grills, wiring etc. (Never mind what the original bumpers of a still to be launched RS car should actually cost!) (-)

      2. The photos of RS4 sort of reveal the front bumper more like the one for sale in Poland than the one on RS5. (+)

      3. Can the bumpers originate from a pre-production car, that was supposed to be demolished, but someone from the factory stole the bumpers and is selling them for pennies ... in POLAND??!! Working for Audi, having access to RS development and looking forward to get fired: naaah, I don't think any such person exist. (-)

      4. At least from these pictures the bumpers look wider than regular A4 should have, and therefore fit with the wider fenders of and RS car. (+)

      5. PR-trick by Audi? Hopefully yes, likely not. Or maybe still to create fuss within the enthusiasts, because the ordinary people wouldn't care anyway... (?)

      Conclusion? Honestly, no idea. I personally hope that the bumpers for sale are authentic and it is the new design for RS cars. It makes the RS4 look more like the bear or sledgehammer, what the RS cars have been looking like from the beginning, rather than shark with an evil smile, what the TTRS' and RS5's front design looks like nowadays.
      Doesn't any Audi official comment on this, if asked about it?
    6. George@Fourtitude's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by tanel
      Tough call, definately.
      1. 5500zl is about 1300, which is a bit cheap for a set of RS bumpers which include the grills, wiring etc. (Never mind what the original bumpers of a still to be launched RS car should actually cost!) (-)

      2. The photos of RS4 sort of reveal the front bumper more like the one for sale in Poland than the one on RS5. (+)

      3. Can the bumpers originate from a pre-production car, that was supposed to be demolished, but someone from the factory stole the bumpers and is selling them for pennies ... in POLAND??!! Working for Audi, having access to RS development and looking forward to get fired: naaah, I don't think any such person exist. (-)

      4. At least from these pictures the bumpers look wider than regular A4 should have, and therefore fit with the wider fenders of and RS car. (+)

      5. PR-trick by Audi? Hopefully yes, likely not. Or maybe still to create fuss within the enthusiasts, because the ordinary people wouldn't care anyway... (?)

      Conclusion? Honestly, no idea. I personally hope that the bumpers for sale are authentic and it is the new design for RS cars. It makes the RS4 look more like the bear or sledgehammer, what the RS cars have been looking like from the beginning, rather than shark with an evil smile, what the TTRS' and RS5's front design looks like nowadays.
      Doesn't any Audi official comment on this, if asked about it?

      That's a pretty good summary. I doubt this is a leak by PR. Are they real? If the spy photos didn't show that odd masked area and smaller openings that match these shots I'd say they were fake. Spy photos (and we're about to show some more) suggest there could be some truth to this.
    7. tanel's Avatar
      Holy crap, these pics were genuine

      Although I am happy about it, I am more interested in this point how these bumpers turned out to be sold totally underpriced and in Poland...

      I'd say congratulations now. As soon as the funds become available I'll build a sedan one though. I've never understood the Germans' and British' preference towards Avants... I wonder what the people have to transport all the time and why do they have to do it in the performance models, buy a diesel if you have a dog for christ sake

      But if any more info is disclosed about these polish bumpers, I'm more than curious.
    8. George@Fourtitude's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by tanel
      Holy crap, these pics were genuine

      Although I am happy about it, I am more interested in this point how these bumpers turned out to be sold totally underpriced and in Poland...

      I'd say congratulations now. As soon as the funds become available I'll build a sedan one though. I've never understood the Germans' and British' preference towards Avants... I wonder what the people have to transport all the time and why do they have to do it in the performance models, buy a diesel if you have a dog for christ sake

      But if any more info is disclosed about these polish bumpers, I'm more than curious.
      It's a really interesting mystery that's for sure.