Top 5 Audi Models That Never Made it Stateside
Nothing excites enthusiasts like the forbidden fruit of cars that never were offered in the United States, for reasons of economics, smog, or safety. See the amazing Audi products that we've been missing out on for years.
Ever since Audi started selling cars in the US market, we've received a different, smaller lineup than what they offer in other markets. Some of the greatest Audis have been considered forbidden fruit to American buyers because of this. In recent years, we've mostly been deprived of the fastest RS variants, leaving Audi fans without these cars which are the true BMW M3 and M5 fighters. Here are 5 of the greatest Audis America has never been allowed to buy.
The Audi A1 is a supermini sold in several markets around the world as a 3-door or 5-door hatchback. The A1 is a natural competitor for the BMW made Mini Cooper and other superminis overseas. Powered by a variety of turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, the A1 can be had with front-wheel drive or Quattro all-wheel drive. Audi even makes a hot hatch S1 powered by the venerable EA888 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that is found in several Volkswagen and Audi products.
The spiritual successor to the famed Audi Quattro Coupè of the 80's, the S2 was built as a sports version of the Audi 80 coupè. The S2 used a 2.2 liter 5-cylinder turbocharged engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The S2 was predominantly sold as a coupé but was also sold as a sedan in limited numbers, and as a wagon, the latter of which served as the basis for the RS2 super sports wagon.
Audi RS2 Avant
The RS2 Avant was made in a very limited 16 month production run between 1994 and 1995. It was Audi's first RS model, being a joint venture between Audi and Porsche. The RS2 utilized a 2.2 liter 5-cylinder turbocharged engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The sub 5 second sprint to 60 mph was sports car performance, but the RS2 was a practical 5-door family wagon. Sadly this performance wagon never managed to make it stateside, but it will finally become legal for import to the United States (for show and display) in March of 2019 when it is 25 years old.
Audi RS4 Avant
The last RS4 sold in the US, the B7, was a competent competitor to the BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG. With the latest generation, we only received the RS5 coupe; Audi stopped making the RS4 saloon altogether and decided not to ship the RS4 Avant wagon here due to a perceived lack of viability for a super sport wagon. The RS4 Avant was powered by the same 450 horsepower 4.2 liter naturally aspirated V8 we enjoy in the RS5. In theory, the RS4 Avant is an ideal practical car, delivering a brilliant soundtrack, ample performance, and needed cargo and passenger room. Poor wagon sales on this side of the pond forbid us from even entertaining the RS4 as an option.
Audi RS6 Avant
The RS6 has always been a performance monster, but the US hasn't received the RS6 since 2004. Like the aforementioned RS4, Audi has decided to forgo a four door sedan in the latest, C7, interaction of the RS6, and only offering it in Avant form. The RS6 is powered by a 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 pumping out 552 horsepower (597 with the optional performance package) that propels the car to 60 mph in well under 4 seconds. The RS6 Avant is a pretty sizable wagon as well, boasting more interior space than some SUV's, all while achieving Ferrari-esque performance.
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