Car and Driver had a chat recently with Audi’s Quattro boss, Heinz Hollerweger, that reads a bit like a job interview to fill the role of fast station wagon in the company’s North American showrooms.
Central to the story is news that the next RS4–the currently V8-powered top dog of the A4 line–will switch to a turbocharged V6 for its next iteration that will make more power than the outgoing V8’s 420 hp. Sounds like a party to us!
Secondary to that was the question of whether that engine will come to North America in some version or variant of the RS4, whether that be a sedan (unlikely), a wagon (potentially, as Hollerweger says American attitudes toward wagons are “changing”), or a hatchback something like a scaled-down RS7.
That last option seems most likely, and would make the car an RS5 Sportback, a car that (almost) already exists in Euro-land as the S5 Sportback, a hatch based on the A5 coupe that shares a supercharged V6 with the S4. We’d be okay with that: to our eyes, it’s a better-looking design than the bigger A7/S7/RS7, and that’s already a pretty car. The photo here shows a 2012 model; if the new design looked half as good, we’d be (relatively) happy to forgive being denied another wagon in favour of this.
Now, as it always is when the topic of fast German cars on this continent, it’s simply a question of waiting, wishing, hoping that Audi will decide an RS4/RS5 makes good business sense here.