All car enthusiasts have always dreamed of various cars that one would love to own, drive and work on. As an Audi enthusiast, I have been drooling over several Audis that us Yanks do not get the privilege of driving. If I had the means and methods to get three Audis imported from the EU, it would have to be:
Audi A6 allroad quattro
I feel in love with the semi-rugged looks of the original allroad quattro when I first noticed one in 2003. All I can remember about it now is that it was Atlas Gray with Black interior and its ride height was set to about its halfway point. Some may not like the slab-like doors, but I just think the overall design is a cross between utilitarian and elegant. To me, it still looks better than any of the Subaru Outbacks out there. My first ride in one was in the local Audi dealership’s courtesy shuttle vehicles. It felt and looked quite posh, plus it had a fair amount of cargo space (even with the rear seats up).
Unfortunately, Audi decided to discontinue the A6 allroad quattro for North America after the 2005 model year; while, the rest of the world would get to the new C6 A6 allroad quattro and its refreshes. Instead, Audi replaced the utilitarian allroad quattro with the whale-ish Q7. If there was one decision that made me question my enthusiasm for Audi, it was with the release of the Q7. Then again, us Yanks love to eat up large sports utility vehicles and crossovers and hate everything wagon or wagon like; including the ones that are less useful on a day-to-day basis. To be honest, the Q7 is basically a wagon that had been injected with too much growth hormone.
The way I would order a C6 A6 allroad quattro (based on the Audi UK brochure) would be with the 3.0TDI and 6-speed manual transmission, in Condor Gray and Black Valcona leather. Options and packages would include the Technology Package (high), Bose, Bluetooth, Advanced Parking System, Advanced Key and Xenon Plus lighting.
With the release of the new A7, the C7 A6, sans Avant for North America, and the 2009 debut of the A4 allroad quattro, it will be interesting to see if and what Audi will bring out for the next generation A6 allroad quattro.
Audi S4 Avant
Another casuality of the Yanks’s hate for wagons is the loss of the S4 Avant once the B8 S4 came out. My first encounter with an S4 Avant was an Imola Yellow B5, tinted with an all black interior. If I had a bit more money on hand and one were in stock (yeah, right) when I got my 2004 A4, I would have opted for an B6 S4 Avant. I love the marvel that is a biturbo 2.7-litre V6; though, I would prefer to more chiseled B6 lines. The B7 S4 Avant was a slight step back in design, though most of that was moot with the release of the B7 RS4 Avant.
If the B8 S4 Avant were made available in North America with a 6-speed manual transmission, I would probably gone with it over the S5 coupé. The way I would have built the Avant, is exactly same way as my current S5: Sprint Blue (now an exclusive color), Black/Silver Alcantara (unfortunately, proper silver in the S4), Carbon Atlas inlays, options equivalent to the Prestige trim in the US, B&O sound system, and the Sports Rear Differential package.
You might be sensing a common theme in my selection of cars that I would love to somehow import. All three have five doors and have a hatchback. So, why would I go for another hatchback? Simple, they freaking rock!
Anyhow, the RS3 is just all-around mental, including its RS styling, the turbo inline five, proper permanent quattro (unlike the Haldex semi-permanent quattro found in the A3, S3, TT and TT S) integrated into an S-Tronic transaxle. All of which is also at the heart of the TT RS, which will be made available to us Yanks; though, the transaxle will be in the form of a 6-speed.
Even though I absolutely love driving cars with a manual transmission (very, very recent convert), but I am willing to make an exception for the RS3. That is one car that I would just love to launch at traffic lights or blitz through road courses and just flick through the gears. If Audi released a version with a manual transmission… I’d explode with joy.
Unlike the C6 A6 allroad quattro and the B8 S4 Avant, I would keep the list of options to a minimum and spend the money to get it in Sepang Blue, Black styling package and bucket seats. A couple of basic amenities like cruise control and Bluetooth and she’s done.
The unfortunate side note here is that the US will lose the A3 hatchback once the new generation arrives; in its place, we will get some form of the A3 saloon concept when it rolls off the production lines.
I know that there is basically zero business case for Audi to bring out any or all of those three over here in North America. If I could somehow convince Audi to make just one available in the US, it would have to be the RS3. It may be smaller than the B8 A4/S4 Avant, and therefor be a somewhat tight fit for me, but it would be an amazing road and track car, have a good amount of cargo space, and would still be fast and relatively well-balanced.
Still, none would replace my S5 coupé… it’s too precious to be replaced that soon and it needs a lovely stablemate.