There’ll soon be two very different performance heroes in the Audi A4 family.

    Autocar reports Audi will give the next RS4 hybrid power, while also introducing an RS version of the all-electric A4 E-Tron.

    The new A4 family is reportedly set to go on sale in the UK sometime in 2023.

    The next A4 sedan and wagon will reportedly use a modified version of the existing front/all-wheel drive MLB platform, including an updated version of the current car’s multi-link front and rear suspension.

    In contrast, the A4 E-Tron will use the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) that’ll also underpin the upcoming A6 E-Tron and Q6 E-Tron.

    According to Autocar sources, the successor to the RS4 will likely retain its twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 engine but will receive electric assistance for the first time, lifting outputs beyond the current 331kW and 600Nm.

    That should bring it closer to the Audi Sport-fettled A4 E-Tron, which will reportedly produce 350kW and 800Nm.

    Lesser A4 E-Tron models will use both single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor four-wheel drive powertrains and wear styling reminiscent of the regular A4.

    Compared to the A6 E-Tron revealed earlier in 2021 in virtually production-ready concept form, the A4 E-Tron will have a shorter wheelbase and narrower tracks.

    The ‘regular’ A4 range will consist of a variety of petrol and diesel models with mild or plug-in hybrid systems.

    Sources have told Autocar the A4 range will continue to offer petrol and diesel engines through to 2030.

    The MLB platform underpinning the petrol and diesel A4 will be modified slightly in the rear to package a 14.4kWh lithium-ion battery borrowed from the Audi Q5, A6 and A7.

    Other modifications to the MLB platform include a new electric architecture.

    This would allow the introduction of Audi’s Dynamic All-Wheel Steering system plus the enabling of near-field communication functionality – such as contactless payments – Audi and Huawei are currently working on.

    The main combustion engine used in the 2023 A4 will reportedly be the EA888 turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which will be re-engineered to meet tougher Euro 7 emission regulations.

    The six-speed manual transmission currently available in European A4s will be axed, leaving seven-speed dual-clutch and eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmissions.

    With outputs expected to exceed the current car’s 331kW and 600Nm, the next, electrified RS4 should offer comparable performance to the BMW M3 and Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.

    The next Mercedes-AMG C63 is also being electrified, though it’ll shift to an electrified version of the Mercedes-AMG A45’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.

    The 350kW/800Nm A4 E-Tron RS will go up against hot electric sedans like the Tesla Model 3 Performance (358kW) and the upcoming BMW i4 M50 (390kW).

    MORE: Audi A4 news and reviews
    MORE: Audi RS4 news and reviews

    Zak Adkins
    Zak Adkins is a Contributor at CarExpert.
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