Some of the upcoming new products from Audi Sport are U.S. bound, the division's R&D chief tells C/D.
The best news is that the RS6 Avant, a true station wagon, is very likely making a return to the U.S. market.
The RS Q8 is on the horizon, making more than 600 horsepower from the ubiquitous Audi twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8.
Audi Sport, formerly known as the Quattro division, is getting ready for a burst of new product-and the U.S. is getting some of it. We dug into our sources and spoke with Audi Sport R&D chief Oliver Hoffmann, who confirmed some of our speculation. "We are preparing for the biggest product offensive we ever had," he confirms, which will include a new RS Q8 plus the next-gen RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback.
The best news for U.S. enthusiasts is that the RS6 Avant, a true station wagon, is poised for a return to the U.S. market. Short of an outright confirmation, Hoffmann says: "The U.S. market is increasingly interested in real station wagons like the RS6 Avant. Therefore, it is entirely possible that we will bring it back to North America."
In the past, Audi has sold the original RS6 Avant of the C5 generation, which was powered by a 450-hp turbocharged 4.2-liter V-8. After the C5, station wagons were pulled from the U.S., and its successors, the C6 RS6 Avant with its 580-hp naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-10 and the C7 RS6 Avant with its 560- and 605-hp turbo 4.0-liter V-8, were not offered here. But at least Audi offered the RS7 Sportback, which is closely related to the C7 RS6 Avant.
Station wagons have entirely fallen out of favor in the past two decades or so, with their family image falling short of the apparent pizzazz of SUVs. The awesome Cadillac CTS-V wagon sold in woefully low numbers, BMW dropped the M5 Touring long ago, and Mercedes-AMG has mainly kept the E63 wagon in its lineup to appease a few gearheads.
But times are changing, and with the A6 Avant's coupelike silhouette, arguably even more attractive than the A7’s, it will be a perfect machine to test the waters again. Bring it on!
RS Q3 and Q8 on Horizon
From the success of the RS Q3, we can safely assume that Audi Sport is working on a successor of that model, and it will likely make a solid 400 horsepower or more in order to keep up with the Mercedes-AMG GLA45. Even before that, we will see an RS Q8, powered by a 600-plus-hp version of Audi's ubiquitous 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8. The RS Q8 will compete with the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GLE63 coupe and the BMW X6 M, but it will also give its corporate sister models a run: The Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe and the Lamborghini Urus are essentially powered by the same engine.
Another monstrous SUV is good news for some of us, but it's the wagon news U.S. Audi fans will really care about.
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