“Keep writing letters,” says product planning boss
Attention, fast wagon fans: Audi is not ruling out the possibility of selling RS Avants in the U.S. market; it’s just concentrating on Sportbacks for now.
“We always look at potential new opportunities in the market. It’s a niche to explore,” said Filip Brabec, vice president of product management for Audi of America. “We keep holding discussions. Keep writing us letters.”
For now, however, Audi is concentrating on the launch of its RS 5 Sportback, a five-door hatchback that is currently the closest thing to an Avant in the U.S. lineup.
“The RS 6 and RS 4 Avants are well accepted in Europe,” said Michael Renz, the new head of Audi Sport worldwide. “In the U.S., it might be a different situation.”
Renz hears the shouts of the very vocal Avant fans in America. But Avant fans also represent a small niche compared to the rest of the lineup. Could RS Avants arrive in a few years as a way to spark awareness and sales for the rest of the RS lineup? Renz would not commit to it, but he didn’t rule it out either.
“The Sportback is not a weird hatchback,” Renz said. “It adds to a sedan, as a beautiful layer on top of that. It’s for sedan buyers who want to be a bit more expressive.”
That said, the demographic for a Sportback and Avant are quite different, at least in Europe.
“The Sportback offers more image than the Avant. There is a clear hierarchy,” Renz said. “The Sportback is for young families who are looking for a sporty, fashion-oriented car with functionality that they can put the kids in. The Avant customer is a little bit older, more entrepreneurial.”