Some spy photos recently surfaced, showing off a Porsche 911 Safari test mule, doing some camouflaged testing. Many enthusiasts turn classic 911s into Safari versions; lifted suspensions, bigger wheels and tires, and some rugged body cladding; so they can have sports car fun but off the beaten path. Which got me wondering, should Audi Sport make a high-performance Allroad?
Audi already essentially makes Safari cars, in the A4 Allroad and A6 Allroad. Give them beefier tires and even taller suspension and Allroads would be proper Safari cars. However, none of them are particularly exciting to drive. Comfortable and practical, sure but fun? Not really. So what if Audi Sport made a spicier version?
It wouldn’t be that much more complicated than making the Audi RS4 Avant and RS6 Avant. Just give them both slightly taller suspensions, beefier tires, and some of the same plastic body cladding as the Allroad models. Of course, it wouldn’t be able to just fit the same Allroad suspension, as it would need to be calibrated for performance driving, both on road and off it. Though, that’s certainly doable, as Ford does it with its Raptor models.
The only thing close to such a model Audi ever made was the original Audi Allroad 4.2, which came with a naturally-aspirated V8 and a six-speed manual. While it wasn’t especially dynamic, it still had a V8 and a manual, which is always fun. Since then, though, all Allroad models have been more sensible.
Just imagine, an Audi RS6 Allroad; essentially and RS6 Avant — with its 591 horsepower 4.0 liter V8 — but with the rugged utility of an Allroad. Audi could offer roof-mounted lights to go with some roof racks, and some cool rugged features.
Would such a car be a big seller? Possibly. If Audi sold it as a limited-run model, toward the end of the RS6’s life cycle, it would probably sell out quickly. If there’s enough of a market for Porsche to sell a 911 Safari, then there’s probably enough of a market for an Audi RS6 Allroad. Now I really want one.