The B7 Audi RS4 is an enthusiast’s dream: available manual transmission, a 4.2-liter, 420-horsepower V8, and all-wheel drive in a subtlty aggressive body. That’s why it was such a difficult pill to swallow when the German automaker decided not to ship the B8 RS4 in any form to the U.S.
Americans have now been without the RS4 since 2008, but the latest news of the next-generation RS4 includes a nugget of hope for those who have mourned its absence most. Car and Driver is reporting that Audi plans to introduce the B9 generation RS4 Avant very soon and a version of the high-powered estate could make it stateside.
Quattro GmbH boss Heinz Hollerweger confirmed the next generation RS4 will ditch the naturally-aspirated V8 for a twin-turbocharged V6, presumably with more than 420 HP, and added that the world won’t have to wait long after the 2016 A4 goes on sale this fall to see both the hotter S4 and range-topping RS4 Avant.
Before you get too excited, Hollerweger added a disclaimer to the discussion of a U.S. spec RS4 by mentioning that wagon sales in the States haven’t been spectacular, hence the disappearance of the A4 and A6 Avant. However, Audi did say wagon sales have been improving lately thanks to the Allroad derivatives, and the automaker is considering if an RS4 Avant would sell reasonably well here.
Interestingly, Hollerweger pondered if the RS4 would ship to America in an alternative form, perhaps as a four-door coupe. Either way, a sedan RS4 unfortunately is out of the question for the time being.
With the mid-range performance market re-heating thanks to models like the BMW M3, Mercedes C63 AMG, and upcoming Jaguar XE SVR, I’d strongly encourage Audi to take part in the ensuing battle, even if the RS4 didn’t sell like mad.