If there’s one thing car journalists are known for, it’s our love of wagons. In the face of preposterously overpowered sports car, dynamically designed sedans and utility-driven trucks, the humble wagon is the hill we die on. A badge proudly proclaiming we-know-something-you-don’t.
Now, that’s largely in part because wagons are better. They ride like a car (get outta here, crossover), yet have the functionality of a van (eat shorts, Grand Caravan.) It’s everything great about cars in one package.
Audi’s always understood the appeal of a well-designed wagon. Even though their front-drive derived powertrains corner like a wheelchair loaded with bricks, they’ve never been shy about offering Quattro-equipped Avants. With proper manual transmissions, to boot!
(Volvo, BMW, and Subaru have also been consistent at providing these options. Volkswagen, too, though all-wheel-drive is new for them, and only on the AllTrack. Mercedes-Benz also does the whole wagon thing but try getting a Merc with anything but an automatic transmission. Ain’t gonna happen.)
Where Audi has really gone above and beyond is in equipping the Avant with a diesel engine. That’s like the distillation of nerdy auto journalist taste. Sure, the masses view it as a dorky dad-mobile, but we know. We know.
The 2019 Audi S6 Avant TDI features 3.0L V6 good for 349HP and 516.3LB-FT of freakin’ torque. It has a 0-62MPH of 5.1 seconds and tops out at 155MPH. And it’s a wagon and it’s glorious.
Of course, it’s restricted to Europe. Wagons don’t really do well in North America. Something about having to compensate for insecurities seems to push people this side of the pond into SUVs and trucks and Second Amendment rights. Cowards.
Still: that cars like this continue to exist are a moral victory in an increasingly immoral world.