Recently, we spoke about the lack of Audi RS3 in America and talked about how Americans don’t like hatchbacks and wagons much. Well, there’s a small possibility, and that’s all that’s needed to spark hope among Audi faithful, that an RS4 Avant may bea headed across the Atlantic.
Recently, Car and Driver had a conversation with Heinz Hollerweger, head of Audi’s Quattro GmbH about how the US and Chinese markets are the largest growing markets for Audi. During this conversation, being the gear-heads that they are, the folks from C&D asked about the RS4 and if we will ever get its upcoming replacement. While Heinz didn’t say exactly, he did hint that it was a possibility, despite the fact that it will most likely be a wagon. “The U.S. is changing, and there is more demand there [for wagons], so maybe that will change,” said Hollerweger.
The reason the next RS4 will be an Avant variant, at least to start off, is because that’s what Audi customers expect, according to Hollerweger, “that is what people expect from the RS4.” So the possibility of the US getting the RS4 is slim, at least if it stays an Avant. However, Hollerweger did keep open the possibility of different body styles, “we have to think of where we want to sell cars, and what is expected there. The potential in China and the U.S. for RS models is getting us thinking about body styles that may work there—maybe a hatchback, like the RS7.” So a sedan RS4 is a possibility for the US, increasing our odds of getting the car over here.
I’m sure I speak for all Audi fans, and just car enthusiasts in general, when I say that I’m hoping Hollerweger can convince the bean counters in Ingolstadt to bring us an RS4 of any body style. Especially when you hear what is planned for it. The previous RS4 used a 4.2 liter V8, much like the RS5 we get does, and it was a glorious engine. However, the new RS4 will be downsizing to a 3.0 liter V6. Though it won’t be the 3.0 Supercharged V6 you get in the standard S4. The RS4’s will use a turbocharger or two, which will not only increase performance over the previous model, but efficiency and weight as well. According to Hollerweger, the next RS4 could very well produce more than the 420hp that the previous V8 made.
All of this sounds very tasty, indeed. Even the slightest glimmer of hope that there could be an RS4 roll up on the shores of the US makes enthusiasts ‘Stateside very excited. It is still doubtful, however, as the US market seems to never get the cool Audis, but times are changing and maybe there will be enough demand to bring it here, even if Audi has to change the body style. Here’s to hoping.