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Audi RS 4 Avant: Frankfurt Auto Show

What Is It?

The new Audi RS 4 Avant is a high-performance station wagon version of the Audi A4 — to put it mildly. Put another way, it’s one of the coolest, most exciting cars to debut at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show, packing major power and gorgeous, eye-catching styling sure to excite any fan of cars that combine practicality and performance.

On the outside, the RS 4 Avant looks about as you might expect: subtle and understated, yet exciting and full of subtle differences from the standard A4 Avant — including flared fenders, a more aggressive grille and larger wheels. Inside, the cabin is transformed from standard A4 to high-performance sportwagon with grippy sport seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel and various trim (and RS 4 badging) that helps the car stand out from the regular A4 and S4.

But the big news is under the hood. That’s where you’ll find a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 that makes 450 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, which all works together for a 0-to-60 time of 4.1 seconds. The top speed is limited to 155 miles per hour, though an optional “RS Dynamic” package can bring that top end up to 174.

How Much?

Don’t get excited. The RS 4 Avant isn’t coming to the States.

When Can You Get It?

It’ll go on sale in Europe this fall.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because…

If only we could add it to our shopping lists. It has a lot of benefits most sporty wagon lovers would appreciate, including a large cargo area, practical all-wheel drive and Audi’s new Virtual Cockpit technology — along with, of course, screaming performance. We know it wouldn’t do well in the States, but we wish Audi would bring it here anyway for the few of us who would appreciate what has to be one of the best multipurpose cars around.

Other Cars to Consider

Audi S5 Sportback — The closest thing Audi is giving us to a very fast wagon is a pretty fast hatchback. The S5 Sportback has gorgeous styling, additional practicality compared to a sedan thanks to a hatchback design, and a sporty 354 hp.

Ford Focus RS — OK, it’s not quite a fast luxury wagon. But it’s reasonably well-equipped, quite practical and certainly fast, boasting a 0-to-60 time of something like 4.6 seconds.

Volkswagen Golf R — The Golf R, too, isn’t quite on the RS 4’s level, with only 292 hp. But it’s plenty quick, and it offers a handsome interior with 5-door practicality.

Used Mercedes-AMG E 63 Wagon — The one fast wagon we get here in America is the Mercedes-AMG E 63 — and it’s a delight. Touting 600 hp and a 0-to-60 time of 3.9 seconds, the new AMG Wagon is a stunner. Too bad it starts around $108,000 — so you may need to consider a used model.

Where You Can Buy

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