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Wagon Lovers, Rejoice: The Audi RS 6 Avant Could Come to America


April 15, 2019 Cars By
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The crossover may be king these days, but there are still enough people out there who love its predcessor—the station wagon—to keep the breed alive. And that market apparently has enough room not just for jacked-up variants like the Subaru Outback, but for high performance versions, as well. The latest proof of that: The next-generation Audi RS 6 Avant may wind up being sold in the United States.

That’s the coy word from Audi Sport R&D head honcho Oliver Hoffmann, who said as much to Car and Driver in a recent interview.

“The U.S. market is increasingly interested in real station wagons like the RS 6 Avant, Hoffman told C/D. “Therefore, it is entirely possible that we will bring it back to North America.”

It comes as Audi Sport—the carmaker’s in-house performance division, which used to be known as “Quattro” until Audi presumably realized that was confusing as hell for most people who associate that word with the company’s all-wheel-drive system of the same name—prepares for what Hoffman described as “the biggest product offensive we ever had.” That onslaught will reportedly include RS versions of the Q8 four-door crossover coupe and the Q3 compact soft-roader, as well as the new RS 6 and its RS 7 Sportback sibling.

For the last five years, said RS 7 was the only way Americans could lay their hands on one of Audi’s fastest four-doors. While the RS 6 had been available in the States in the early Aughts during the C5-generation A6’s run, the carmaker chose to slice the car from the American lineup after that—and, indeed, without any version of its speediest sedan until the RS 7’s arrival in 2013.

Audi his staying tight-lipped about what sort of power the new RS 6 will crank out, but combining rumors, spy shots, and common sense paints a fairly realistic picture of what to expect. Unlike the new Audi S6 and S7, which switched to six-cylinder power for the 2020 model year, spy videos of the car at the Nurburgring reveal the RS 6 is expected to stick with turbocharged V-8 power—specifically, the biturbo 4.0-liter V-8 shared in various states of tune across the Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Porsche lineups. Expect at least 600 horsepower—the outgoing RS 6 Avant sold in other markets seen above topped out at 597 hp and 553 pound-feet of torque in Performance trim—along with an eight-speed automatic tuned for snappy shifts and a power-shifting all-wheel-drive system to maximize grip. (A hybridized version could be in the cards at some point to add some electrified pep to the RS 6’s step, as well.)

Should all go as wagon fans hope and the RS 6 Avant does wind up arriving in US dealerships sometime soon, four-ring enthusiasts might consider sending a thank-you card to the nearest Mercedes-Benz dealership. Unlike Audi and BMW, Mercedes has consistently kept the wagon version of its middleweight super-sedan—the AMG E63—around in America, catering to a small-but-loyal cadre of very wealthy buyers…and a ravenous secondhand market on Bring a Trailer.

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