Audi Australia won’t follow the trend of killing off wagon models.
Speaking with CarExpert, national product manager Matthew Dale said fans of Avant and allroad will not be forgotten in the coming years despite numerous brands – including the likes of Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen – axing wagons to focus on SUVs.
“SUVs are such a strength in the Australian market, but for Audi, we’re very strong in Avant [wagons] and that will continue moving forward,” Mr Dale said.
“And allroad. Allroad customers in Australia are unique to Audi – allroad customers will generally buy a new allroad when they come out. So for the foreseeable future, we will continue with allroad in Australia.”
Currently, Audi Australia offers the A4 Avant and allroad, the go-fast S4 and RS4 Avants, as well as the A6 allroad and RS6 Avant. Overseas, there are A6 and S6 Avant options too, but they are no longer offered locally.
When asked if there was scope to expand on the current portfolio in terms of variants in the coming years, Mr Dale said that would largely be driven by customer demands.
“We generally see a TDI market with Avants [and allroads], it’s quite strong. When we brought out the TFSI [turbo petrol] as a new engine technology for A4 allroad, we literally saw the split straight down the middle – so the customers are telling us that they would like to see new engine technologies.”
There are no TFSI e plug-in hybrid versions of the A4 or A6 allroads currently available, but Mr Dale said: “If a hybrid was available we would certainly evaluate that for the market, but it’ll be driven by customer input as well”.
“Our biggest thing with our model portfolio is to have that customer chair in the decision. All our decisions are not just made in our corporate headquarters in Australia – it’s involving our customers, our investors, our dealers, and the people that buy our cars into the decision making as well.”
Mr Dale’s comments indicate we can expect the next generation of Avants and allroads to make it to the Australian market, even if the range of variants continues to be more limited than in other markets like Europe.
Spy photographers have snapped prototypes of the successor to the A4 Avant already, which is expected to be renamed to A5 as Audi transitions to even numbers for EVs and odd numbers for combustion-engined and hybrid models.
The next-generation A6 e-tron will be available in both sedan and Avant body styles when it hits the market in 2024, previewed by a pair of concept cars already. It’s unclear whether the A6 allroad will be renewed as an EV or rebadged as an A7 allroad to accommodate diesel and plug-in hybrid drivetrains.
Meanwhile, other brands continue to pull out of the wagon space. Parent Volkswagen recently announced it would be culling all versions of the Golf Wagon and Passat Wagon in Australia, while arch rival Mercedes-Benz won’t be importing wagon variants from its global portfolio to focus on SUVs.
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