The last time we got the Audi RS4 in the U.S. was way back in 2007. Since then, the RS4 transformed from a sedan, convertible, and a wagon to just a wagon. With American automotive consumers’ strong dislike towards wagons, Audi decided not to send the vaunted B8 generation RS4 to the U.S. Since then, the Audi enthusiasts had to settle with the S4 sedan, or had to wait till 2013 to purchase the Audi RS5 coupé or convertible.
Now, however, there is some good news for all the Audi RS4 enthusiasts in the U.S. With the recent debut of the B9 generation A4, word around the internet is that the next generation Audi RS4 might be returning to the U.S.
Over the past decade, the demand for RS branded vehicles has seen an incline and Audi executives are once again viewing the U.S. market as a potential place of growth for the RS brand.
Heinz Hollerweger, the head of Audi’s Quattro GmbH, said that “expanding sales in the U.S. is vital for improving the division’s performance.” At a recent press launch for the new Audi R8, Mr. Hollerweger said “Europe is becoming a less important market, the U.S.A. and China are where we see the growth happening.”
Mr. Hollerweger has confirmed that the next-generation Audi RS4 will be switching to a turbocharged V6 engine from the current naturally aspirated 4.2 L V8. When asked about the downsizing of the engine, Mr. Hollerweger said “I think the power has increased more than enough, and of course other performance is improved too.” However, Audi RS fans need not panic because Mr. Hollerweger did mention that the new car will have more than 420 horsepower.
At the press event, Mr. Hollerweger did not hint at a specific time or date of the debut of the next-generation Audi RS4, but he assured that the Audi RS4 will be launched relatively early in the production cycle of the new A4. If this statement is true, then expect the new Audi RS4 to launch soon after the new S4, which is scheduled to launch sometime in the middle of next year.
Like the current RS4, Mr. Hollerweger did confirm that the new RS4 will launch as an Avant wagon, saying “that is what the people expect from the RS4.”
The chances of the RS4 coming to the U.S. is slim, but Mr. Hollerweger did say that “The U.S. is changing, an there is more demand there (for the wagon), so maybe that will change.”
When asked about alternate body styles, Mr. Hollerweger said that the Audi RS4 will not be built as a sedan, but there is a potential for a hatchback, like the Audi RS7, based on the demands of U.S. and Chinese markets.
Outside of the U.S., Audi has sold the A5 Sportback and the more powerful S5 and RS5 Sportback models as well. This means that if the Audi RS4 does not arrive as a wagon in the U.S., we likely will receive the next-generation RS5 Sportback.
At this point, it really doesn’t matter if Audi of America decides to import the RS4 or the RS5 Sportback. As long as they import one of them, I will be really happy and so will the rest of Audi RS enthusiasts.
Information and Image Source: Audi