There are a couple of German journalists who've become quite prolific thanks to their usually accurate early reads on moves by the German manufacturers. We usually plug Georg Kacher as the Grand Poobah of that particular Water Buffalo club and C&D's Jens Meiners is definitely an honorary member. So when Jens filed a story over on caranddriver.com this week about the demise of the next-gen B8 Audi RS 4 and mentioning the RS 6 we took note.
According to Meiners, the RS 4 has been cancelled as the RS 5 has been deemed sufficient enough to fill demand for those particular customers. Jens also goes on to say that an RS 6 is currently in the works.
What's Our Take on the RS 4?
Back when we were first throwing together some mockups of future RS models (RS 4 above) ahead of the RS 5 launching, word was that the RS 4 sedan would definitely not happen due to its closeness in target customer to the RS 5. The RS 5 was the more natural and compelling case. However, our intel back then (this is several years back now) told us the RS 4 Avant would still happen.
We're not sure what to make of Meiners info about the RS 4. Given the RS 5 has been out over a year and there's been no mention of an RS 4 Avant we suspect he might be right. We have a theory (and only a theory not backed up with any solid intel) that the RS 5 has had a hard time in the press and that could spur Audi to re-think a more aggressive change when the A5/A4 product improvement comes in a 2013ish timeframe. If that's the case then Audi likely decided to skip a generation (as it did with the B6) and wait for the preferred new setup. This is all conjecture, but it would make sense.
And how about the RS 6?
Our theory on RS 6 is much as RS 4. Intel suggests the RS 7 is a done deal for the US as well and that car will likely be powered by a more potent version of the upcoming 4.0T that will also see duty in the S6, S7 and S8. The scenario for an RS 6 as it relates to RS 7 is exactly the same as RS 4 and RS 5. The drivetrain has been developed so it could be done but likely the RS 7 and RS 6 sedan are a bit of a cannibalistic move. In that case an RS 6 Avant (only) seems to be the more likely scenario and if it's Avant only then don't expect it in the USA.
Read the full story at Car & Driver