Attention, Sport Wagon Enthusiasts: It's Time to Write Audi Some Letters

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
attention sport wagon enthusiasts its time to write audi some letters

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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2 of 19 comments
  • LuvGermanCars LuvGermanCars on Apr 04, 2018

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

  • Kosmo Kosmo on Apr 04, 2018

    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!

  • Wjtinfwb I'll certainly admit to a bit of nostalgia that drives my appreciation for these 70's yachts, but there's more to it than that. It was an era that the Big 3 ruled the luxury market with the German's and British nothing but a beer fart in the marketplace. That changed drastically as the early '80s crept in but in 1977, a Mark V or Seville was where it was at. No rose colored glasses, they were not great cars, what they were was a great living room that you could ride to the office in. I grew up on a diet of Cadillac's, Lincoln and one big Chrysler before dad made the move to a 280SE in about '77. Impeccably built and very road worthy, dad initially didn't like the firm seats, clunky automatic transmission and very weak A/C. The exorbitant maintenance costs didn't help. But he enjoyed the driving characteristics enough to get another Benz, then a 733i, an Audi 5000S and a Jag XJ6. Compare these to today's Cadillac's (non- V) and Lincoln's that with the exception of the Escalade and Navigator, are boring and probably even more pedestrian than the Eldorado, Seville and Mark's were.
  • FreedMike I was lucky enough to grow up in a household with the two best German luxury sedans of the time - a manual '81 733i, and a '75 Mercedes 450SE. The BMW was a joy on back roads, and the Benz was a superb highway car. Good times. And both were dramatically better than the junkheap American luxury cars Dad had before.
  • Wjtinfwb A Celebrity Diesel... that is a unicorn. Those early A-bodies were much maligned and I'm sure the diesel didn't help that, but they developed into very decent and reliable transportation. Hopefully this oil-burner Chevy can do the same, it's worth keeping.
  • Wjtinfwb After S-classes crested the 40k mark in the early '80s, my dad moved from M-B to a BMW 733i Automatic. Anthracite gray over red leather, it was a spectacular driving car and insanely comfortable and reassuring on long interstate hauls. My mom, not really a car person, used the BMW to shuttle her elderly Mom back home to Pennsylvania from Miami. Mom and grandma both gushed with praise for the big BMW, stating she could have driven straight through the car was so comfortable and confidence inspiring. A truly great car that improved through the E38 generation, at which point the drugs apparently took hold of BMW styling and engineering and they went completely off the rails. The newest 7 series is a 100k abomination.
  • Vatchy If you want to talk about global warming, you might start here: