By on April 3, 2018

Audi RS 4 Avant

Back in 2016, Audi announced it would be going mental with its high-performance RS models, delivering eight new rip-roaring RennSports by the end of 2018. It even said it would ship some to the United States, though there wasn’t to be a single wagon among them. In fact, Audi’s entire American lineup is piss poor when it comes to liftbacks in general — despite Europe being flush with them.

Sure, the U.S. has a few sportbacks on offer. But the only vehicles that even begin to approach wagondom are an economy minded hatchback (the A3 e-tron) and an extra car-like crossover (the A4 Allroad). So, where does that leave wagon fans who might want to occasionally burn some rubber? Out of luck.

Fortunately, luck can change. Audi’s vice president of product management said shipping RS Avants to North America isn’t out of the question if the company thinks there could be a market for them. All wagon fans need to do is establish a write-in campaign pleading for them. 

“We always look at potential new opportunities in the market. It’s a niche to explore,” Filip Brabec, VP of product management for Audi of America, told Motor Trend in a recent interview. “We keep holding discussions. Keep writing us letters.”

Threats to the manufacturer are probably taking things too far. Instead, we’d recommend trying to convince Audi that sport wagons are making a comeback. Mercedes-AMG sent the E 63 S Wagon to the states and Porsche is doing the same with the Panamera Sport Turismo. Is Audi scared the RS 6 Avant can’t hang with the big boys?

Of course it can. But we don’t have to let Audi know that we know that; we just have to tell it that we’d love for the RS 6 to have a chance to prove itself in the U.S. That goes double for the RS 4 Avant. If that manufacturer doesn’t realize there is a market for good looks, tire-shredding performance, and enhanced practicality, we’re practically obligated to issue a reminder.

There’s also a chance Audi doesn’t even realize how America see sport wagons. It often feels like European automakers automatically presume we’ll hate them without ever giving us a real opportunity to purchase one. “The RS 6 and RS 4 Avants are well accepted in Europe,” explained Michael Renz, the new head of Audi Sport worldwide. “In the U.S., it might be a different situation.”

“The Sportback offers more image than the Avant. There is a clear hierarchy,” he continued. “The Sportback is for young families who are looking for a sporty, fashion-oriented car with functionality that they can put the kids in. The Avant customer is a little bit older, more entrepreneurial.”

In the United States, we’d estimate the average Avant shopper would probably be from that same demographic. Someone who loves to drive, has a bit of money, and only wants one car sounds like the perfect sport wagon candidate. Meanwhile, the dude with the family will probably just buy an SUV.

[Image: Audi]

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19 Comments on “Attention, Sport Wagon Enthusiasts: It’s Time to Write Audi Some Letters...”

  • avatar

    Does anyone know why the wagon doesn’t occupy the market spot currently occupied by the sedan? Stigma?

    • 0 avatar

      Station wagons for some reason still perceived as the minivan of car-world…even though minivans are minivan of car world these days.

      I also suspect station-wagons are kinda like manual transmissions – everyone wants one until they go buy a car.

      • 0 avatar

        Nobody ever mistook a Dodge Magnum SRT8 for a minivan.

      • 0 avatar

        Though there is a LARGE overlap of people who prefer wagons and manual transmissions. I have bought two such new, and would buy another tomorrow if it was actually possible. Yes, technically VW will sell me a manual Golf wagon, but only in pauper spec, so I did compromise with a manual GTI Sport. Could have gotten lots more money out of me for a long-roof GTI. Or even an SE or SEL trim wagon.

        Station wagons and manuals both suffer from chicken and egg syndrome too. You can’t buy what isn’t offered or available. And since they aren’t offered or available nobody buys them. Or they offer the sedan in 10 combinations of drivetrain and/or trim and the wagon in one. You can get a 340i RWD stickshift sedan, so obviously the drivetrain is certified. But you can’t get that in a wagon.

    • 0 avatar

      The majority of car purchases in the US are made with at least 50% of input by a woman. In my experience, American women consider a station wagon about as desirable as stretch marks. A station wagon is akin to giving up on personal desirability and attractiveness. So, yes, there’s a significant stigma attached to wagons.

      • 0 avatar

        > A station wagon is akin to giving up on personal desirability and attractiveness. So, yes, there’s a significant stigma attached to wagons.

        That sentiment is somewhat lost with these star-struck automotive journalists.

        • 0 avatar

          You’re telling me you’ll walk into an Audi store and pick the RS wagon over the sedan or even coupe version? As your fun weekend car? For Z06 Vette money? Don’t worry, nobody else did either.

          Now the regular A4 allroad – that’s a nice wagon that IS available here and barely anyone buys them, but I drool when I see them. Likely one of those in my future or more likely, the wifes.

          • 0 avatar

            Having bought and driven manual wagons for the last 30 years, I have to admit to being baffled by why people don’t get it.

            A wagon is a sedan that has a usable trunk when you want to haul at least some home goods. It has visibility that most sedans don’t. It drives like a car, not a truck.

            What’s wrong with this picture?

            ps, yeah, I bought an Allroad despite VAG’s best efforts to screw it up by adding some useless plastic cladding, raising it by about an inch, and fitting some annoying slightly higher profile Continentals that can go away after the first 35k miles.

  • avatar

    Write letters? Audi brings one over, puts a $90k sticker on it, nobody can afford it. They leave. People cry.

  • avatar

    Once upon a time, the S6 only came in Avant. Make it happen again, please.

  • avatar

    As a wagon owner, I am always about the possibility of more wagons here. My mom and I both will only drive wagons as long as we can. At the Milwaukee auto show last month the local Volvo rep said that all the men were interested in the wagon, while their wives/girlfriends only wanted SUVs. I found that rather interesting, yet not that surprising.

  • avatar

    I have the previous generation A4 allroad and it’s a wonderful car, but I bought more for looks than for the extra cargo capacity. Not the cladding… the front end is meaner, more aggressive than the A4 sedan (not so the current model). More brushed chrome bits as well. So yes wagons can be cool. But an RS variant would be out of my price range.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    I only bought my 2007 CTS-V sedan because I couldn’t find a 2Gen manual Vagon for any price at the time. They were like hen’s teeth around here three years ago. More hi-po wagons, please, though I might just save for the Ultimate Used Wagon: The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 5.5L Bi-Turbo V8 S-Model 4MATIC Wagon. I’m drooling just typing that.

  • avatar

    Sign me up! Wagons are not uncool. I rather call them different than all the other “me too” body styles on the road.

  • avatar

    I’m not greedy, Audi. I don’t need an RS wagons.

    But an S4 Avant would be at the top of next year’s shopping list!

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