Audi has always kept its best cars for its home Continent, Europe. Most of Audi’s RS models, almost all of its wagons and almost all of its diesels have always stayed on the Eastern side of the Atlantic. This isn’t news to most auto enthusiasts, who’ve been begging for cars like the Audi RS6 Avant and RS3 Sportback for years now.
Admittedly, there’s good reason for why Audi doesn’t bring these cars to North America and it’s that we simply won’t buy them. Of Course, most enthusiasts who are reading this are saying “Of course we’d buy them, I’d buy one right now if I could!”. And it’s true, enthusiasts would buy crazy RS models and A4 Avants, but the problem is that it would only be enthusiasts buying them and that’s but a small percentage of Audi’s clientele base. The majority of North American buyers don’t want cars like that and Audi would struggle to sell them.
But we’re not here to discuss why Audi doesn’t bring them over or even why Audi should. We’re here to live in fantasy land for just a moment. Let’s discuss which Audi model you’d import to the United States if you had to choose just one.
Audi has several European-only cars that US enthusiasts desire. The aforementioned RS6 Avant is a biggie, being that it’s supremely powerful, thanks to its 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged TFSI V8 developing 560 hp, it’s incredibly comfortable and luxurious and, thanks to its Avant body style, is very practical as well. It’s a luxurious family car that can embarrass supercars. What’s not to love about that, honestly?
Then there’s the crazy Audi RS3 Sportback. The RS3 is a psychotic version of the A3 hatchback in Europe, but it uses a 2.5 liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine to make 367 hp and it can get from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds. It’s a monstrous little car, but it’s also easy to drive, comfortable, good in snow and also quite practical. It’s one of the best overall small cars on the market, as there’s not much it can’t do. Plus it looks great and has a fantastic interior.
Even something like the Audi A4 Avant would be a welcome addition to the US lineup. The upcoming B9 Audi A4 is a great small executive luxury sedan. It’s good looking (even if a bit unexciting), has a best-in-class interior, has good performance and is also incredibly practical (noticing a trend?). It’s something that most enthusiasts wish would make it here more than most because it’s affordable and easy to live with in everyday life. It’s also one of Audi’s most popular models in Europe, so much so that Audi is releasing the upcoming RS4 as an Avant only at first. But what to we get in the ‘States, instead of the A4 Avant? The Audi Allroad, a car that doesn’t even know what it is, as it’s part wagon, part crossover, part off-roading thing.
If I had to choose which model to import to the ‘States from Europe, it’d probably be the Audi A4 Avant. It’s the most sensible car in Audi’s fleet and it’s the car that most enthusiasts would actually buy, as it’s reasonable affordable. Also, I’d bring the manual gearbox option with it.
Which European Audi would you bring to the US?