As a rule, introducing a wagon to the US market is a waste of resources; the extended-capacity grocery-getters tend not to sell very well here, where consumers tend to prefer the more “normalized” appearance of the sedan body style.
And it’s a darn shame, too, because it means that we Americans miss-out on any number of sharp, capable European wagons. Like the Audi RS4 Avant.
In fact, the previous-generation Audi RS4 didn’t offer a sedan body style, meaning that we here in America had to go without the car entirely. But with the recent introduction of the new 2016 B9-generation Audi A4 sedan and Avant (wagon), TopSpeed has gotten to wondering whether a B9-based Audi RS4 Avant could arrive later – and whether it could cross the pond and invade America’s shores.
The rendering shown above, used with permission from our friends at TopSpeed, shows what such a car might look like. This predictive first look at a possible Audi RS4 Avant was compiled using the new B9-generation A4 Avant, plus the front bumper from the 2015 Audi RS3, a typical RS-style honeycomb grille and side mirrors, chrome ornamentation, different side skirts, and subtle fender extensions. It’s also been slammed just a smidge for a lower ride height.
So what might power the 2017 Audi RS4 Avant? TopSpeed has some idea; the website speculates that the powerplant might actually be down-sized from that of the current RS4 Avant, from V8 to V6, and from 4.2 liters to somewhere closer to 3.0. Making up the deficit – and then some – would be a turbocharger on each bank of cylinders, most likely tuned to surpass the current RS4’s 450 HP and 317 lb-ft, in order to close the gap with the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG wagon (at 503 HP and 516 lb-ft).
Combine that with a reduced curb weight, and TopSpeed is anticipating a 0-to-60 time around 4.3 seconds, down from 4.7 in the B8-generation model.
Of course, all this said, there’s every chance that the unpopularity of the wagon in the United States needn’t necessarily make us pine for the 2017 Audi RS4 Avant. Every possibility exists that Audi could decide to reintroduce the RS4 sedan, last available in 2008 for the B7-based iteration of the performance luxury car.