By on August 17, 2019

Despite wagons facing a growing unpopularity that rivals that of free speech, Audi continues winking and nudging at North America, sneakily hinting that the king of all long-roofs might make its way to this side of the Atlantic.

There, it could see dozens, perhaps even hundreds of orders. Cynical? Perhaps, but a niche pocket of enthusiasm does greet any mention of the A6 Avant midsize wagon and its upcoming, beastly RS 6 Avant performance variant. Believed to pack a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 and a boatload of horsepower, the next-generation RS 6 launches for the 2020 model year, but it remains to be seen whether any of these wagons arrive on these shores.

Certainly, Audi wants fans to think they will.

Audi embarked on its teaser campaign earlier this year, and this past week brought a new salvo of speculation:

 

 

Hmm, I wonder what they’re trying to get across?

While the larger of Audi’s wagons did once tempt U.S. dealership visitors, the only long-roof Audi passenger car currently on sale stateside is the smaller A4 Allroad, which gets a mild suspension lift to go with its body cladding. It’s a crossover-adjacent wagon, not unlike Buick’s Regal TourX.

Of course, there’s also an Allroad version of the fifth-generation A6 that launched in Europe last year, and it’s this model that’s seen as the most likely candidate for a boat trip. At last report, Audi officials in the U.S. haven’t given any of the A6 wagon variants a green light. Should the Avant, Allroad, or RS 6 make the trip, it wouldn’t face much competition in its micro-segment.

Wagons are flirting with extinction in North America. While Jaguar’s XF Sportbrake will remain in the brand’s U.S. lineup for 2020, its future looks grim, what with Jag culling unpopular car configurations. The next-gen BMW 3 Series, introduced for the 2020 model year, sees the wagon variant drop from U.S. order books. Adding to the bloodbath, Volkswagen recently announced the death of its Golf Sportwagen and Alltrack.

That leaves Subaru, Volvo, the aforementioned Buick, and Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class Estate to keep the A4 Allroad company.

It definitely looks like we’ll see some version of the A6 Avant here; if all of this teasing comes to naught, Audi deserves a slap. As for the next RS 6 Avant, rumored to boast between 650 and 700 horsepower, we’ll get our first glimpse of it at the Frankfurt auto show on September 10th.

[Images: Audi]

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27 Comments on “Audi Ups Its Wagon Tease Game...”


  • avatar
    Fred

    They should of made the A3 wagon. I could of guaranteed at least one buyer. Actually I should of kept my 2007 A3, for what I paid for the TSX Wagon I would of been financially ahead and had more fun.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    I have been driving a 2010 A3 hatchback, and it is a lovely car. I decided I wanted something like it, but a bit longer and a bit more adapted to highway driving, so have been chasing a clean E91 this summer. It’s been a really interesting experience. I have failed because I was too busy to act fast on two great examples, but I’ve come to realize there are lots of people looking for them.

  • avatar
    redapple

    I was in London, France and Germany this summer.
    17 days.
    I was surprised at the % of wagons over on the continent.
    My co worker from Sweden had his new- big Volvo wagon diesel. I loved it.

    (a little off topic. The big boss had his new R Line VW Diesel Toureg. AWESOME )

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Can I get one in that Porsche Green like Jack Baruth’s Audi was painted? I will own a car that color some day.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    Lovely cars, but their coupes are still prettier, and I don’t really need the extra luggage space.

  • avatar
    Steve203

    No way will I lay out Audi grade green. When the time comes to retire my Jetta wagon, I’ll grind my teeth a bit at their not offering a Golf wagon, then I’ll scribble out a check for a Tiguan.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Although SUVs are the craze and I like SUVs I now want a Jaguar XF sportbrake more than anything. Let me explain. I have young twins. I need space. The Jag has a lot more than most SUVs. Second if I spec it with a big torque Diesel engine it will have outperform pretty much any SUV you can think of on the motorways. The argument for one is building in my mind

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I’ve never been much of an Audi fan, but I would buy another RWD, stickshift 3-series wagon in a heartbeat for my place in FL. But BMW is causing me to save $55K by refusing to sell me another one. I should probably thank them for that.

  • avatar
    Lockstops

    I never understood the excitement over Audis which are not in any way exciting with their super front heavy FWD-platforms, terminal understeer, etc. etc. Even in general the whole chassis tuning is artificial feeling and massively compromised since they have to try to put a band-aid over a band-aid over a band-aid due to the horrible starting point.

    Then when you get to the bigger-engine’d versions I’m even more perplexed since that engined placed as far as possible in front of the front wheels as close to the front bumper as possible is now far heavier than before, so it makes the car even more horrible.

    In the past when I could test the whole A4 range back-to-back I and others deemed the smallest-engine, less powerful versions the most fun (still crap compared to proper cars) since they had the lightest front ends and the least power overwhelming the front tires and causing problems.

    It’s not as if Audi’s engines have ever been quite up to the level of its rivals either, they’ve always been very characterless, flat, monotonous, less revvy. And then their comfort has even been lacking (they’ve had to tighten the chassis more to try to control that unbalanced monstrosity and usually noticeably higher overall weight). Then there’s the catastrophic Audi ergonomics, now heightened with the most idiotic UI in their history, with complete ergonomic failure in the form of touchscreen-button-interface that simply is full failure. I’d say it’s downright dangerous.

    Sure, Audis do have that somehow very compelling vault-like feel (when driving very slow) and all, plus their engineers talents are undoubtable. Too bad the company has failed to listen to those engineers who I know have been begging for a proper platform since at least 20 years ago. On top of that the marketing department (the main department calling the shots in the whole corporation) has made things even worse by demanding chassis tuning specifically negating some of their small advances as they must experience the ‘traditional and familiar Audi driving experience’ meaning they had to put back in more oversteer, make it feel more flat again, etc.. Wasting talent like that sucks.

    We had an RS6 Avant on track and the representative responsible for the car kept asking me what the brakes are like, can it take some more laps. I just didn’t understand the point of taking it there at all since it fried the brakes after half a lap and I’m sure the (front) tires were more than ruined too. There was almost no cool-down possibilities with the way things were organised so basically the RS6 sat out much of the event with its brakes on fire while the other cars (many of them not very light eithre) kept banging out laps. Too bad we didn’t have any of those special ‘funny’ tires Audi used to put on their cars for track tests, that would’ve given us one fast lap (then they’d have to be thrown out).

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      A proper FWD-platform SUV is dynamically far better than Audi POS. Take a look at the Stelvio for example. Bur fortunately (in Europe) there are several pretty nice RWD-platform wagons, in several versions, so we don’t have to make such huge compromises.

      Several people I know over here have switched to a completely new strategy: using roof racks & roof boxes, hook-attached boxes (like Thule BackSpace), and trailers to take care of the stuff-lugging requirement for their sedan/coupé which quite often have very much space inside for occupants an the usual luggage.

      In some circles (very very niche, so this is more of an anecdote) the thinking is that “a gentleman drives a sedan”. And so they spec and equip that sedan to be very capable tools for active lives indeed, but which can be driven very respectably to an event or in everyday situations. Think of a Mercedes E sedan 4matic for example: how much does it really lose to a wagon in space, usability and comfort? Especially when there is a roof rack and box, plus a small trailer you can attach right to it (to its folding tow hook)?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      This, so much this. I have never understood the appeal of Audi, I would say the last 10 years where they have finally become a “noticed” brand has possibly been the worst. FWD, boring designs that are completely invisible in traffic, engines that are tiny, agricultural in sound, and unbefitting of a VW let alone a high priced VW. The naming strategy of the company is a mess that takes a Audi enthusiast (if such a thing exists) to keep up with, easy to take notice I suppose on one of the many likely unscheduled dealer visits. The high end cars may make some sense, but the majority of these cars are clearly selling on badge.

      Don’t care about driving dynamics or a proper engine/platform? Acura is the better choice, at least there will be fewer dealer visits.
      Want driving dynamics, proper sports/lux engine and typical subpar German engineering? Buy one of the last inline 6s cars from BMW
      Want a soft cruiser with a somewhat still decent badge? Mercedes has some great sleds and still offer a couple decent luxury setups.

      There is nothing Audi does better than anyone else.

      • 0 avatar
        tinbad

        Yes, those poor folks at Audi must be doing everything wrong to have 20+ years of consecutive year over year growth in sales.

        But seriously, people who drop 50k+ on a car, who are smart enough to test drive the different options available to them and make an educated decision have been massively flocking to Audi. According to arm chair analysts of the commentariat, it must be because of their completely flawed design.

        For my last 3 luxury vehicle purchases I’ve considered everything from Mercedes to BMW to even Lexus and all 3 times ended up with Audi. Why? They handle surprisingly well and precise. Steering is super direct, you can take sharp turns at full speed and they inspire confidence driving which actually makes them fun to drive. It’s not coincidental that recent BMW offerings have been evolving more towards Audi’s in driving feel because guess what, not everybody is looking to drive a car that feels like it has no suspension or has a heavy steering feel. In addition, Audi’s have been a great value overall without the excessive nickel and dining BMW/Mercedes have been guilty of in recent years to justify their “premium” brand.

        Outside of some auto journalists, Audi makes some of the most (objectively) best handling cars overall. If you are actually in the market for that class of car you’ve figured it out by now, hence they’ve been so successful. I for one was discarding them for a long time but happy I set foot in one to see what it was all about.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          AFAIK Kia also has kept increasing sales. Are they also better than BMW, Mercedes etc.?

          How many who buy Audis even test drive them, or have any idea about driving dynamics? Might things like marketing be more important for sales numbers?

          Who here even knows what Quattro is? Or any actual technical differences between them and rivals?

          Well, in any case I’m definitely buying only Audis from now on since they seem to have cracked the laws of physics with cars so great that you can take sharp turns at full speed! That was completely new news to me, along with everything else tinbad wrote…

          • 0 avatar
            SilverCoupe

            Lockstops,

            By full speed I am sure that tinbad meant the speed one was driving along the straight portion of a road prior to the sharp curve. I too like to drive my Audi around sharp curves without slowing down. Any CUVs following closely behind me back off a bit after that.
            The car does not complain on these curves, though my wife often does!

      • 0 avatar
        jmo2

        Acura is the better choice, at least there will be fewer dealer visits.

        The long term reliability data has Audi at 124 defects per 100 cars and Acura at 171. May I ask what data you’re using to form your opinions? Or do you just make it all up as you go along?

        • 0 avatar
          SPPPP

          Jmo2, I think the JD Power Dependability Survey results need to be taken with a mountain of salt. I can think of at least 3 or 4 caveats or potential flaws in the methodology. But I am not going to spend time on that. I will just point out that the top 7 brands in JD Power’s 2018 Quality index are as follows:

          1 – Genesis
          2 – Kia
          3 – Hyundai
          4 – BMW
          5 – Cadillac
          6 – Chevrolet
          7 – Fiat

          Now, unless the automotive landscape has totally inverted in the last few years, who on the planet thinks these are the top 7 quality brands?

          On the other hand, if you do agree with these ratings, let me point out that Audi is #25 here, while Acura is #14. Flawed methodology? Asking vastly different questions? Cognitive dissonance? It’s your call.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            JD Power’s 2018 Quality index are as follows:

            You missgoogled. Your list is from CR.

            “Now, unless the automotive landscape has totally inverted in the last few years, who on the planet thinks these are the top 7 quality brands?”

            That’s the thing though – it’s not 20 years ago. I get the sense that the B&B form their view of cars when they are later teens or early 20s and no matter what changes over the next 20 or 40 years they never change their thinking.

          • 0 avatar
            SPPPP

            Jmo, I did not mis-Google.

            https://www.jdpower.com/Cars/Ratings/Quality/2018/Manufacturers

  • avatar
    415s30

    I have a TSX wagon, I don’t want an Audi! I know people with newer Audis and they were nightmares. Acura give us a new wagon, I have a 2011 with 53k miles so I guess it won’t be me anytime soon.

  • avatar

    FCA needs to bring back the wagon variant of the LX. Either as the Dodge Magnum or as a wagon version of the 300 (as previously sold in Europe). Since the current 300 sedan is rumored not to have a replacement, the wagon version could fill its place in the lineup and fit it with Chrysler’s “People Mover” brand mission. Then again, a Hellcat Magnum would bolster Dodge’s performance division credentials as well.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    I’m in Germany now and the A6 Avant is all over. It’s an impressive looking car. I’d be interested in seeing it in the US.

    Unfortunately, it would be a niche vehicle. The US is all in on CUVs and SUVs. There are popular here in Germany too, but estates and hatches still rule and mostly M-B, BMW, Audi, and VW. To a lesser extent Ford, Opel, Skoka and French brands.

    We are driving a M-B C-Class 220d estate. Very comfortable, lots of luggage space and easy to Cruze the Autobahn at 220kmh. Pedal to the floor it maxed out at 240kmh. It was fun watching the Porsche GT3 go past me like I wasn’t moving.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    I love and value station wagons. Their utility and their “carness” makes them great products and those blasted CUV’s and SUV’s are bloated, can’t see through them road masses of doggie poo.

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