The high-performance compact wagon market is a niche too far for Audi, which won’t sell the RS4 Avant in America.
Revealed on Tuesday at the Frankfurt motor show, the Avant benefits from the same 2.9-liter biturbo V6 as the RS5 Coupe, with which it shares a chassis. Making 450 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque, it hits 60 mph from a standing start in just 4.1 seconds and will go all the way up to about 175 mph.
Despite that, sales in America just wouldn’t be high enough for the model to survive, predicts Audi. According to Audi USA’s Mark Dahncke, “demand is simply too limited to justify it.”
The RS4 Avant is about as old school—or rather, as old world—as they come, so it’s not exactly surprising that the car isn’t America-bound. Soon-to-be-former head of Audi Sport, Stephan Winkelmann, has on a number of occasions expressed his desire to expand the lineup with so called world cars.
Winkelmann argued that Audi Sport had been too Eurocentric in the past and said that he wanted to develop cars for the wider world, such as SUVs or the RS3 sedan.
The move was welcomed by Audi USA, which in Detroit announced that it would be bringing eight Audi Sport models to the United States in the short term. Some hoped that the lineup would include the RS4 Avant, but unfortunately, we’ll have to skip it.
With the RS3, the TT RS, the R8 hardtop and Spyder, and the RS5, that makes five, leaving only three spots to fill. The smart money would bet, based on Winkelmann’s previous comments, that an RS Q5 would be among those, as would an RS Q8, when it eventually arrives.
A version of this story originally appeared on Fourtitude
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