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Thread: Avants and RS?

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnEnglish View Post
    I said that MB brought over the E63 but it's special order only. And no, there is no demand. This is a tiny but vocal group of people who love wagons, but the vast majority of people don't want them.

    Audi spends tens of millions of dollars a year on market research. If the market research showed that there was a business case for the RS4 do you think that they would decide not to bring it over and pass up that revenue for some reason? Audi is not interested in selling 250 - 500 cars. If it was 2,500 - 5,000 year they'd probably do it.
    You specifically said in your post that There's a reason Mercedes hasn't brought over the C63S wagon; they know no one would buy it. That being said there absolutely is a demand. If Audi has the opportunity to sell enough cars to offset the cost of federalization then why would they not? They are only hurting themselves at that point by turning people away. Look at Porsche. They listen to what the enthusiasts and fans want and say. As does BMW. Both of them are some of the only companies to still offer a manual. I 100% agree that DSG or any other dual clutch systems are miles better then a manual. But, If I have the option between one or the other I will choose the Manual as will many others. Likewise, if Audi brought over the RS4 there would be a lot of deposits and money changing hand. They aren't going to sell 3,000+, but even at 500 units, thats about $42,500,000. if it costs more then 25% of that to federalize a car there is something weird going on. Hell Pagani and koenigsegg federalized their cars. And koenigsegg rebuilt the same car over and over again when they recently got the Agera federalized. I understand dealers make money too, but dealers only make about 3-5% on a new car which means that Audi is getting 95% of that money your just paid. AND on top of them getting MSRP they have a bank where they get interest. It's not a lose, lose, lose like everyone makes it out to be. Go over on rennlist. People constantly say they would trade their Macan GTS for an RS4. the Macan doesn't offer the sportiness that the RS would. It's also the ONLY car in its category in the US. E63 is higher and Polestar IMO is a lower class

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    Avants and RS?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnEnglish View Post
    I said that MB brought over the E63 but it's special order only. And no, there is no demand. This is a tiny but vocal group of people who love wagons, but the vast majority of people don't want them.

    Audi spends tens of millions of dollars a year on market research. If the market research showed that there was a business case for the RS4 do you think that they would decide not to bring it over and pass up that revenue for some reason? Audi is not interested in selling 250 - 500 cars. If it was 2,500 - 5,000 year they'd probably do it.
    If MBZ can sell the E63 wagon as a special order it seems Audi could sell the S4 or RS4 the same way. Surcharge it $5k but make it available.

    Audi doesn't sell many TTRS's either, but somehow we get that variant.

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    Last edited by Uncle Buck; 09-14-2017 at 05:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by casablancab5 View Post
    You specifically said in your post that There's a reason Mercedes hasn't brought over the C63S wagon; they know no one would buy it.
    And I also said that the E63 is being sold here special order only. Those statements aren't contradictory. They're two different vehicles with very different buyer demographics.
    Quote Originally Posted by casablancab5 View Post
    That being said there absolutely is a demand. If Audi has the opportunity to sell enough cars to offset the cost of federalization then why would they not? They are only hurting themselves at that point by turning people away. Look at Porsche. They listen to what the enthusiasts and fans want and say. As does BMW. Both of them are some of the only companies to still offer a manual. I 100% agree that DSG or any other dual clutch systems are miles better then a manual. But, If I have the option between one or the other I will choose the Manual as will many others. Likewise, if Audi brought over the RS4 there would be a lot of deposits and money changing hand. They aren't going to sell 3,000+, but even at 500 units, thats about $42,500,000. if it costs more then 25% of that to federalize a car there is something weird going on. Hell Pagani and koenigsegg federalized their cars. And koenigsegg rebuilt the same car over and over again when they recently got the Agera federalized. I understand dealers make money too, but dealers only make about 3-5% on a new car which means that Audi is getting 95% of that money your just paid. AND on top of them getting MSRP they have a bank where they get interest. It's not a lose, lose, lose like everyone makes it out to be. Go over on rennlist. People constantly say they would trade their Macan GTS for an RS4. the Macan doesn't offer the sportiness that the RS would. It's also the ONLY car in its category in the US. E63 is higher and Polestar IMO is a lower class
    No, there's no demand. We already had a naturally aspirated V8 RWD wagon with a 6 speed manual no less called the CTS-V. No one bought it. If there was demand it would still be manufactured and Mercedes would be selling the C63S wagon here too. Is it possible that random people on an internet message board doing back of the napkin math know something that multi billion dollar multi national corporations that spend hundreds of millions of dollars annual on entire departments staffed with people who's only job is to figure this stuff out? Maybe, but I doubt it.

    Pagani and koenigsegg can be successful selling ultra low volume vehicles because they have insane margins and they also have much lower overhead compared to major manufacturers. Porsche is one of the few manufacturers that can build low run vehicles because they have the higher profit margins per vehicle of any major manufacturer; they've never had to offer incentives to sell cars. A large part of that is due to their customer base who are very devoted. People on a message board saying they'd love to buy car X is not demand, especially for a manufacturer like Audi. You can't say "well Porsche would do it" their business model is different from Audi's.

    This really isn't complicated. If there was demand then you'd see Audi, Mercedes, BMW, maybe even Jaguar, and Cadillac all with high performance wagon models. The fact that none of them sell wagons here should tell you that maybe there's a reason why. It's not some grand conspiracy, there's simply not enough money in it to make it worth while for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Buck View Post
    If MBZ can sell the E63 wagon as a special order it seems Audi could sell the S4 or RS4 the same way. Surcharge it $5k but make it available.

    Audi doesn't sell many TTRS's either, but somehow we get that variant.

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    The E63 is a completely different demographic. You'd have to compare it to the RS6. If you notice MB doesn't sell the C63S wagon even as a special order here which is the RS4 competitor.

    If Audi didn't have the RS7 they might sell the RS6 wagon here like MB but there's not enough demand for both. The RS7 sells better than the E63 wagon does so in their minds it's not worth it.

    Audi sells the TTRS here because they've determined there is demand just like they've determined there's not enough demand for the RS4; it's that simple. There's nothing mysterious about it. Plus it has a really nice profit margin. Remember the A/S/RS3 and TT/S/RS are built in Hungary which has much lower manufacturing costs so those vehicles have better profit margins than the rest of the Audi line up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnEnglish View Post
    The E63 is a completely different demographic. You'd have to compare it to the RS6. If you notice MB doesn't sell the C63S wagon even as a special order here which is the RS4 competitor.

    If Audi didn't have the RS7 they might sell the RS6 wagon here like MB but there's not enough demand for both. The RS7 sells better than the E63 wagon does so in their minds it's not worth it.

    Audi sells the TTRS here because they've determined there is demand just like they've determined there's not enough demand for the RS4; it's that simple. There's nothing mysterious about it. Plus it has a really nice profit margin. Remember the A/S/RS3 and TT/S/RS are built in Hungary which has much lower manufacturing costs so those vehicles have better profit margins than the rest of the Audi line up.
    Fair points all John. And of course we understand the economics. But this is a board of Audi's most passionate supporters. We're going to ask regardless of the cold logic of focus groups & market research.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Buck View Post
    Fair points all John. And of course we understand the economics. But this is a board of Audi's most passionate supporters. We're going to ask regardless of the cold logic of focus groups & market research.


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    +1. Completely agree with you.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Buck View Post
    Fair points all John. And of course we understand the economics. But this is a board of Audi's most passionate supporters. We're going to ask regardless of the cold logic of focus groups & market research.


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    Right, and I get pining for something like the RS4. It's just that people sometimes seem to direct their frustration at the manufacturers for not bribing a vehicle over and not the customers who wouldn't buy them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnEnglish View Post
    The E63 is a completely different demographic. You'd have to compare it to the RS6. If you notice MB doesn't sell the C63S wagon even as a special order here which is the RS4 competitor.

    If Audi didn't have the RS7 they might sell the RS6 wagon here like MB but there's not enough demand for both. The RS7 sells better than the E63 wagon does so in their minds it's not worth it.

    Audi sells the TTRS here because they've determined there is demand just like they've determined there's not enough demand for the RS4; it's that simple. There's nothing mysterious about it. Plus it has a really nice profit margin. Remember the A/S/RS3 and TT/S/RS are built in Hungary which has much lower manufacturing costs so those vehicles have better profit margins than the rest of the Audi line up.
    I would take an RS6, even better. There are plenty of people like me that would opt for the hatch S7 or RS7 but have to turn it down because it only has 4 seats and need 5. I have tried to talk myself into an RS7 a few times but I just can't do it because of the seats. That is where the RS6 or S6 Avant would come into play. I know of a couple of missed sales from the local dealer because of the same reason as well. I am sure that are plenty of other similar scenarios.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnEnglish View Post
    Right, and I get pining for something like the RS4. It's just that people sometimes seem to direct their frustration at the manufacturers for not bribing a vehicle over and not the customers who wouldn't buy them.
    +1 on the customer's. We actually bought an '04 A6 Avant and we had it 10 years. I was very disappointed there was no Avant option. But we bought a Q5 to stay in the family. Our 4th Audi.

    The sportbacks are the closest functionally but I've always thought they were a knee jerk response to the MBZ CLS. A pure fashion exercise compared to the functionality of a proper Avant.


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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnEnglish View Post
    And I also said that the E63 is being sold here special order only. Those statements aren't contradictory. They're two different vehicles with very different buyer demographics.No, there's no demand. We already had a naturally aspirated V8 RWD wagon with a 6 speed manual no less called the CTS-V. No one bought it.
    Not really fair... they offered it RWD only, when the CTS was still "teething" and a POS - more "Catera Touring Sedan" than sorted out sports car (Cavalier with a Corvette drivetrain). They threw it out there thinking it would not sell at all, and sold every one of them; it would sell better now as the car has improved a lot - still a Catera though...

    You can't say "well Porsche would do it" their business model is different from Audi's.
    Porsche is top dog now, Audi's business model is decided by Porsche - so you can actually say it. Hopefully, Porsche remembers the original RS car they helped develop is the reason this is even a debate - and it was only offered as a wagon... They just announced a manual only GT3 that 12 angry old men asked for; couple hundred RS4s is free money. AoA just doesn't want the hassle from the dealers fighting over allocations - easier to just take a pass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by easy_button View Post
    Not really fair... they offered it RWD only, when the CTS was still "teething" and a POS - more "Catera Touring Sedan" than sorted out sports car (Cavalier with a Corvette drivetrain). They threw it out there thinking it would not sell at all, and sold every one of them; it would sell better now as the car has improved a lot - still a Catera though...
    The CTS-V wagon was built on the Sigma II platform and was available as of 2014. It was the previous (2nd) generation, not one of the original Catera models. I wouldn't call it a POS with teething problems. It was reviewed really well, people just didn't buy many of them. The CTS-V wagon made up less than 0.5% of Cadillac CTS sales. Now in that case the business case was pretty simple. The tooling was already there, the drivetrain was certified, the car was crash tested and all the associated regulatory stuff was already taken care of. It was simply a matter of assembling the car. Bob Lutz famously said they only needed to sell 5 CTS-V wagons to break even. The same reason why it was easy for Cadillac is exactly why it's complicated for European manufacturers to do this. The last figures I saw were low to mid 8 figures to do this for a vehicle so anywhere you can cut costs by reducing the amount of certifications required the better.

    Quote Originally Posted by easy_button View Post
    Porsche is top dog now, Audi's business model is decided by Porsche - so you can actually say it. Hopefully, Porsche remembers the original RS car they helped develop is the reason this is even a debate - and it was only offered as a wagon... They just announced a manual only GT3 that 12 angry old men asked for; couple hundred RS4s is free money. AoA just doesn't want the hassle from the dealers fighting over allocations - easier to just take a pass.
    As of 2016 Porsche made an average of $23,000 on each car sold. Audi made an average of $5,200 on each car sold and Audi's numbers include Lamborghini since VAG considers Lamborghini a division of Audi so we can probably assume that Lamborghini is skewing those numbers higher than if it was Audi cars alone. So while Audi and Porsche share resources (engineering, platforms, etc.), their business models are quiet different. Porsche makes high margin lower volume cars and Audi makes lower margin higher volume cars. The business case that Porsche has to make to put a vehicle into production is different than Audi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnEnglish View Post
    And I also said that the E63 is being sold here special order only. Those statements aren't contradictory. They're two different vehicles with very different buyer demographics.No, there's no demand. We already had a naturally aspirated V8 RWD wagon with a 6 speed manual no less called the CTS-V. No one bought it. If there was demand it would still be manufactured and Mercedes would be selling the C63S wagon here too. Is it possible that random people on an internet message board doing back of the napkin math know something that multi billion dollar multi national corporations that spend hundreds of millions of dollars annual on entire departments staffed with people who's only job is to figure this stuff out? Maybe, but I doubt it.

    Pagani and koenigsegg can be successful selling ultra low volume vehicles because they have insane margins and they also have much lower overhead compared to major manufacturers. Porsche is one of the few manufacturers that can build low run vehicles because they have the higher profit margins per vehicle of any major manufacturer; they've never had to offer incentives to sell cars. A large part of that is due to their customer base who are very devoted. People on a message board saying they'd love to buy car X is not demand, especially for a manufacturer like Audi. You can't say "well Porsche would do it" their business model is different from Audi's.

    This really isn't complicated. If there was demand then you'd see Audi, Mercedes, BMW, maybe even Jaguar, and Cadillac all with high performance wagon models. The fact that none of them sell wagons here should tell you that maybe there's a reason why. It's not some grand conspiracy, there's simply not enough money in it to make it worth while for them.
    I don't think you get it.. Lets say Audi looses money on the RS4 or RS6 here.. fine. But now they are loosing even more money because the customers who want an upgrade have no options for a wagon here and are fed up with Audi not bringing over the glorious wagons.. Also for the record go on mbusa.com and you will see that for 2018 MB will be offering the E63S for sale in the US. The car is not a special order only.

    As for the CTS-V that's just not relevant. Cadillac has never been known for an avant or wagon. Everyone knows of Audi's RS avants and their success. Look at MB. They now make a C43, C63, E43, and E63 wagons. Not all are here, but clearly they are selling extremely well, otherwise they wouldn't waste the time developing the wagon body.

    I also don't understand why you sit on here and flame people for suggesting over and over again to bring the RS here.. It is an audi enthusiast website, and there are people who have tried to place deposits on these cars myself included. So don't sit there and act like they won't sell any. And finally, once again for the record, every major car journalist and magazine has mentioned it's a shame the new RS is not coming here. Clearly Audi is missing something. I call BS that they'd lose too much money or the demand isn't here. It simply isn't true

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    Oh I absolutely get it. Audi is not going to bring over the RS4 or RS6 because they won't make enough money to justify the expense. They'll make a lot more money with the RSQ5 and RS7. It's about where they get the biggest return for their investment. They know they'll get a much bigger return with the RS7 and RSQ5 then they would with the RS6 and RS4 so that's what they'll bring over.

    Websites and reviewers were proclaiming Lutz as a saint for building the car enthusiasts had been asking for; a compact RWD wagon with a manual and a NA V8. However, we quickly saw why MB, Audi, and MB don't sell them here. The sales numbers were minuscule. Even Cadillac realized that their engineering and certification budgets were better spend elsewhere and axed the wagon is 2014.

    I'm not flaming anyone for wanting the RS4, I get that. I'm simply pointing out why Audi, or other German manufacturers don't bring over compact performance wagons. It's simple economics. If the numbers made sense we'd absolutely see the RS4, C63S wagon, and probably even a M3 wagon. There's no grand conspiracy to keep them from us. If you want to get upset at anyone for why we don't have compact performance wagons, get upset at the tens of millions of car buyers in North America who prefer SUVs and CUVs; get upset at the government not taxing vehicles by weight, engine displacement, and size like they do in Europe which pushes people towards vehicles like the RS4 instead of the RSQ5.

    Enthusiast website members and automotive journalists are a tiny fraction of the people who actually buy cars and don't factor into a car makers decisions. A couple of hundred people thinking a car is really cool and neat is not a a viable business plan for a car maker like Audi.You can think whatever you want about demand but the reality is that it simply doesn't exist. As I said earlier, if the demand existed we'd see the vehicles being sold here.

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    In terms of the RSQ5, how well is a top tier SUV really going to sell. I understand the Q5 is one of the best selling vehicles in Audi's lineup due to the nature of American buyers, but how well does something like the X5M or X6M really sell?

    Obviously its not a conspiracy and it is about sales volume and margins, but it seems with the release of the B9 RS4, people are being a bit more vocal about it which is sure to get Audi's attention and while that may not necessarily prompt them to decide tomorrow to bring the Avant over; as a 2019, 2020 model who knows? Plans can change and I would also assume that it is much more cost effective to bring the RS4 over in avant form rather than redesign it into a sedan (a la the RS3).

    I also do not think that the sales number would need to be massive to bring something like an RS4 over. Look at the all-road and TT (which includes all the various trims), in 2016 they did sales of 2,300 and 3,044 respectively and it looks like for 2017, it'll be sales of around 3,500 and 2,500, give or take a couple hundred from each. Granted comparing the all-road and TT sales to potential sales of an RS4 is apples to oranges but my point being that I think it would be very achievable to hit 2000-3000 sales of a niche model like the RS4. I think where it gets tricky and where I see the bigger downside is repeating/increasing those sales year-over-year. I would be curious to see what standalone sales of the RS5 have been in the past.

    We could all keep going on and on, but heres to hoping Audi will see there is a demand (albeit a niche one) and can try and make the numbers work in the near future to make a case for the RS4 Avant in the US.
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    The TT has substantially higher profit margins since its buit in Hungary where production costs are much lower so Audi can sell fewer of them and still make the necessary returns. SUVs/CUVs in general have much higher profit margins than their sedan counterparts as they cost more yet their production costs are the same.

    Audi has a fixed amount to spend on bring a car over here. If they have to choose either the RS4 or RSQ5 they'll choose the SUV since they'll sell more of them.

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    So to chime in this never ending topic of conversation....

    1. The manual transmission is dead. And until I bought my PDK equipped Cayman GTS in 2015, my fun cars had all been manuals, going back to 1982. Manuals used to have better performance and better fuel economy than automatics. Now, neither is the case. And the latest ZF automatics rival dual clutch in terms of shift times without any of the harshness. There is no reason for the manual transmission to exist anymore, other than as a novelty item. If this is what you want, there are plenty of great older cars with really good manuals. I have owned both a B7 RS4 and an E92 BMW M3. Both with epic high revving V8 motors and manual gearboxes. Today, however, there is no good reason to put a manual gearbox in a mass produced real transportation vehicle. And the fact is, people just aren't buying. 40-50 hardcore enthusiasts on a forum aren't going to make it happen.

    2. Avants (station wagons) don't sell in the U.S. People who want utility want crossovers and SUVs. The practical element here is the extra ground clearance and more environment-proof suspension. I would buy a Porsche Macan before an RS4 avant. The sportback models offer the utility of a hatch and are much sleeker and sportier than the Avants, and the demand is most definitely there. Again, 40-50 ranting Avant fans won't make it happen.

    Personally, I dislike the look of wagons and the thrill of a clutch and lever is really dead for me after 35 years of driving. I love the capabilities and feel of my PDK Cayman. I find it to be an amazing gearbox. I love the looks of my S6 and wife's S3 sedan. Wouldn't have it any other way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VVG View Post
    So to chime in this never ending topic of conversation....

    1. The manual transmission is dead. And until I bought my PDK equipped Cayman GTS in 2015, my fun cars had all been manuals, going back to 1982. Manuals used to have better performance and better fuel economy than automatics. Now, neither is the case. And the latest ZF automatics rival dual clutch in terms of shift times without any of the harshness. There is no reason for the manual transmission to exist anymore, other than as a novelty item. If this is what you want, there are plenty of great older cars with really good manuals. I have owned both a B7 RS4 and an E92 BMW M3. Both with epic high revving V8 motors and manual gearboxes. Today, however, there is no good reason to put a manual gearbox in a mass produced real transportation vehicle. And the fact is, people just aren't buying. 40-50 hardcore enthusiasts on a forum aren't going to make it happen.

    2. Avants (station wagons) don't sell in the U.S. People who want utility want crossovers and SUVs. The practical element here is the extra ground clearance and more environment-proof suspension. I would buy a Porsche Macan before an RS4 avant. The sportback models offer the utility of a hatch and are much sleeker and sportier than the Avants, and the demand is most definitely there. Again, 40-50 ranting Avant fans won't make it happen.

    Personally, I dislike the look of wagons and the thrill of a clutch and lever is really dead for me after 35 years of driving. I love the capabilities and feel of my PDK Cayman. I find it to be an amazing gearbox. I love the looks of my S6 and wife's S3 sedan. Wouldn't have it any other way.
    It's funny - Porsche still sell manuals because of US demand...And buy your Macan - It's your $$. I'd prefer an Avant. I've never liked the Sportback. It's badly proportioned to my eye. This a channel we get to voice our thoughts directly to Audi. Don't expect us not to ask.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Buck View Post
    It's funny - Porsche still sell manuals because of US demand...And buy your Macan - It's your $$. I'd prefer an Avant. I've never liked the Sportback. It's badly proportioned to my eye. This a channel we get to voice our thoughts directly to Audi. Don't expect us not to ask.

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/a12237610


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    Porsche is a much more "bespoke" type of car than Audi. You can very much build to spec, but you pay for that privilege also. Even the RS cars are built on a bit of a budget. And the manual gearbox options are only on their pure sports cars, not on the Panamera, for instance. There was actually a time when you could get a Cayenne GTS SUV with a manual, but that is now gone. Again, I am not saying there isn't something to enjoy about driving a manual, I am just saying that in a practical transport vehicle, the is no reason to put one in anymore. They do not perform better, and can not work with many of the driver aid tech that is going into modern cars. It is being relegated to being a novelty item. Yes, they are fun and engaging, etc, etc. but just aren't a realistic proposition for a modern practical transport vehicle. Audi RS cars, while the top dog in terms of Audi performance, are still practical transport vehicles.

    I don't care for the 7 series sportback design at all. I agree that it is badly proportioned. This is why I own an S6 and not an RS7. However, the 5 series is different to my eyes. And, yes, a Macan GTS or turbo is high on my list for when it is time to replace my S6.

    And while on the subject......When is the RS5 Sportback coming to the U.S?
    Currently: Audi S6 * Audi S3 * Porsche Cayman GTS

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