With Audi finally releasing all of the details on the Audi S4 and S4 Avant today, many North American enthusiasts were both happy and sad with the news. We’re happy that the S4 sedan seems to be fantastic, but sad that the S4 Avant will not be making its way over to this side of the Atlantic. The Avant variant is the best variant of the Audi S4 and it really bums US enthusiasts to know that we can’t have it.
The logic behind the lack of US Avant does make sense, as it simply doesn’t sell enough here to warrant it. Americans are more focused on buying strange crossovers that have no business near even a gravel driveway, but it makes them feel rugged so they buy them anyway. For instance, countless Audi Q3s will be sold in the coming years, yet no one would buy and A4 Avant if it were sold here which has almost as much cargo space as the Q3, seats the same amount of people, is cheaper, more efficient and is the better driving and performing car. So instead of the wonderful Audi A4 Avant, we get the dull and uninteresting Q3.
To make matters even worse, Audi gives us the Audi Allroad, a slightly jacked up A4 Avant with strange matte fenders that give it a pseudo off-roading look. Even though the Allroad is essentially an Audi Avant wagon, US customers will buy it because it’s called an “Allroad” and has rugged intentions. The fact that it can’t off-road doesn’t matter because 90 percent of Americans who buy Sports Utility Vehicles don’t actually use the “Sport” or the “Utility” in them, so they’ll never know that the Allroad is nothing more than an Avant with some safari gear on.
But, regardless of the fact that Americans won’t buy Avants, Audi should still sell the S4 Avant here and there are a couple of reasons why.
Firstly, Audi doesn’t sell many S4s here anyway, as it fails to even come close to the number of BMW 340is and Cadillac CTS 3.6s in the US. So it’s not as if the S4 is a huge money making machine anyway. Being that it’s a low-volume vehicle, bringing it over here won’t hurt Audi too much.
Secondly, it would make enthusiasts happy. There are a ton of young car enthusiasts who like fast wagons but can’t find any here in the ‘States. Audi would be the sole player in that game if it brought the S4 Avant over here. BMW doesn’t even offer a 340i Touring here, Jaguar won’t even think about selling an Estate variant in the US and Cadillac is turned off from wagons ever since the second-gen CTS-V Wagon. So Audi would have the only hot wagon here in the US and that would give it serious bragging rights to enthusiasts, something Audi could use.
Thirdly, if Audi were to sell the S4 Avant here in the US, it could show American customers that wagons can be cool, being that it’s hard to deny the cool-factor of the S4. If Audi could successfully turn the negative image of wagons around, it might open the door for even more Avant products, thus expanding Audi’s model portfolio here in the ‘States.
Obviously, it’s a long shot for an Audi S4 Avant to be a success in the US, which is exactly why Audi won’t bring it over here. However, a short one-year limited run of the S4 Avant in the US could be good enough to test these theories and small enough that it wouldn’t really hurt Audi. It’s long shot, but one that could pay off and one that Audi should chance.