Audi Wants a Bigger SUV, More Wagons for the US
"There is a small group of aficionados who could benefit from an additional wagon from Audi."
Everyone seems to be after bigger SUVs these days. Subaru is super-sizing with the Ascent; Mazda with the CX-9; and Volkswagen with the Atlas. Autoweek reports that Audi wants a piece of the three-row pie, too.
"For us, obviously, one request from this side of the ocean is to have an even bigger SUV" such as a Mercedes GLS competitor, said Audi of America's director of product planning, Barry Hoch. Perhaps the Atlas would be a good place to start since it uses the MQB platform underlying many models throughout Volkswagen Auto Group's fleet. Audi wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel to create their own upscale version.
That's all well and good. A three-row SUV is necessary these days to remain competitive in the family hauler market. But Hoch also wants to provide a quaint alternative for customers who would rather not drive a large hulking SUV: more wagons. "There is a small group of aficionados who could benefit from an additional wagon from Audi," Hoch said. "It's certainly something that we see over in Europe, and I want it." Count me in with those aficionados. Not only are wagons extremely practical, Audi has a long history of offering upgraded S and even RS models in wagon form. This bodes well for future enthusiast models as an alternative for sedan drivers wishing to move into something more spacious and practical. Typically that choice is an SUV, but Audi's Sportback models have offered an interesting alternative. The addition of more wagons to the selection would be great for the enthusiast who still wants more room than a Sportback but still wants to drive a car rather than the added bulk and height of an SUV.
Wagons used to comprise a significant part of Audi's lineup in the US, with the A3, A4, S4, A6, and S6 previously available in wagon form, but currently the A4 Allroad is the only long roof available here. Wagon versions of most of Audi's models already exist elsewhere in the world so it would not be difficult for Audi to bring them back to the US. Let's hope they do.