We love wagons, and we're not ashamed of it. Case in point, the Audi Allroad from the early 2000s that had a cult following in America but not enough to make it stick. Now, Audi wants to bring back the larger wagon in Allroad guise. Yep, it looks like they will officially bring the Audi A6 Allroad to America, and that's huge news for wagon lovers (including us).
The news comes as a bit of a shock since Audi killed off the A4 and A6 Avant wagons due to poor sales. But the fact that the current A4 Alllroad is selling decently shows that there's room for growth in the Audi wagon stable, as long as its new members are slightly elevated versions with some body cladding that resembles crossovers. It's what Americans like. The distinction is small but important.
This is the second premium A6 Avant Audi is bringing back to our shores, the second being the superfast RS 6 Avant. Not even the regular Avant is coming back because, you know, that's just a run-of-the-mill wagon.
And you'd be right to think, why is Audi bringing the A6 Allroad here but not the regular A6 Avant station wagon that also has quattro all-wheel drive? Well, again, it's about perception. The A6 Allroad might have slightly more off-road capability, but it's no Jeep. Buyers want crossover style, and a wagon is just too mundane to sell enough units here to justify Audi bringing a regular A6 Avant.
The A6 Allroad gets bigger and darker trim bits over the wheel arches, more robust rocker panel trim, a special Allroad grille (like the A4 Allroad's version), roof rails, and something called "Alu-Optic" finish on the front and rear bumpers. We're not exactly sure what that is, but it looks like it might be a matte coating of some sort for a tougher look.
The A6 Allroad also gets big 20-inch wheels, and most importantly there's air suspension that changes height like the original allroad (yes, the original "allroad" wasn't capitalized). The adaptive air suspension maxes out at 7.3 inches of ground clearance when the "Lift" mode is selected. Dynamic mode will bring the Allroad lower, make the throttle response quicker, hold the gears longer, and even add steering effort.
In terms of power, the A6 Allroad will get a potent, turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that's good for 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque to all four wheels, so it should be spritely and spirited. There are no performance numbers yet, but we expect the A6 Allroad will be fun to drive despite its more rugged leanings.
Additional standard equipment will include hill descent control, four-wheel steering, and a tilt angle assist that warns the driver of potential rollover, which we think would take a lot to do in a wagon. There's also ambient LED cabin lighting, a dual-pane sunroof, and a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system in the standard equipment list.
The good news is that Audi says the A6 Allroad will come to us in 2020, which means it really is official. BMW has killed their wagons in favor of crossovers, and Mercedes (E-Class) and Volvo (V60/V90) are the only premium automaker with bonafide all-wheel drive station wagons.