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Geneva: 2013 Audi RS4 Avant

Ironically, if you’re among those who want a performance wagon in the United States (don’t all of you raise your hands at once….) your only choice is from an American manufacturer. Yes, the Europeans, who are the king of sport wagons, don’t offer anything for us. There is a reason for that though.

The Cadillac CTS-V Wagon is one crazy automobile, but it sells very slowly, just like its standard Sport Wagon counterpart. That’s because, while enthusiasts like to talk about wagons a lot, no one really buys them here. For Cadillac the decision in offering the V Wagon is no brainer: positive press and little investment: the Sedan and Coupe use the same hardware. It’s more of a “why not?” matter.

For Audi the equation is less simple. Firstly we aren’t considered worthy enough for the RS4 in any of its variations – in fact, we don’t even get an S4 Avant. The only RS variant scheduled for U.S sale right now is the RS5. That may change soon, but for now you’ll have to just look at the RS4 Avant, which is what most of us would be doing anyway.

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Instead of the turbo six-cylinder units that are becoming the norm, power comes from Audi’s sonorous 4.2-liter V-8, which makes 450 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque.

Those figures are unchanged from the S5. It is matched up with a dual-clutch seven-speed transmission. Serious hardware that pushes the RS4 Avant to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds, with an electronically-limited top-speed of 155 mph. Quattro is biased toward the rear with a 40/60 split. As an aside, the RS really looks the part. The A4 from looking sedate into something a lot more special, which it should considering the cash you’ll be shelling out. The RS4 goes on sale in Germany in the fall, with pricing information TBA.

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