- Feb 17, 2010
Legalize It: Horchaus federalizing non-U.S. Audis for North America
All your dreams do come true - Click above for high-res image gallery
We're going back and forth on this one. Do we file it under "We'll believe it when we see it" or "Pinch me I'm dreaming"? Either way, we get to sub-tag it, "Thank God for rich friends." That's right y'all, Audi is allowing Horchaus, the Canadian distributor MTM, to federalize some special four-ringers for American consumption. These are the real deal, hopped-up German Audis, straight from the tweaker factory.
As we're sure you all know, Audi keeps a whole bunch of extra spicy models back in Europe. Why? The excuses typically involve some song and dance about Americans not wanting high performance station wagons (as if), though in the case of the RS4 Avant (arguably the most desirable car we can't buy), the U.S. prohibition was because the rear-mounted battery didn't pass DOT certification...
So which cars can we now get via Horchaus? The RS4 Avant, RS4 Convertible, S3, the RS6 sedan and RS6 Avant, Q7 V12 TDI and TT RS. And there's something else to note: Since Euro-tuner MTM is involved in the equation, these cars can be pumped up a bit over stock. One example would be the twin-turbo V10 in the RS6 upped from a paltry 580 horsepower to a more appropriate 735 hp.
That said, Horchaus's pricing announcement is leading us back to the "We'll believe it when we see it" category. Using nothing but a straight Euros-to-dollars conversion rate, the RS6 would cost you about $150,000. However, Horchaus is saying it can be yours for just $107,600. Here's where it gets hinky. Supposedly Horchaus can sell you a R8 V10 5.2 FSI for $98,000, which is mucho less expensive than Audi USA sells them for (the last one we drove cost $172,250). We don't believe this last bit. Still, will us Americanos be able to get two of the hottest wagons in the world? Si senor, si.
UPDATE: After collaborating with a few colleagues who've spoken with people at both Audi Canada and Audi of America, along with Audi AG, we're a little unsure how a few of the vehicles listed could make it to the States and be legalized. The RS4 and S4 Avants shouldn't be a problem, as both have had their engines federalized and the S4 Avant has been crash-tested for the U.S. requirements. The RS6 Avant and its V10 engine have not, so importation of that beast is hardly cut and dry. We'll continue poking around and update this post as necessary.