When you think of station wagons sold in America, usually a land yacht with fake wood paneling comes to mind. But we are not as lucky as other parts of the world when it comes to wagons. With Audi announcing last week that the RS6 Avant will actually be available for sale in the United States, I thought it would be appropriate to do a quick rundown of some of the best wagons that were never sold in the US.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
Starting in Japan, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX immediately comes to mind. Us Americans were deprived of the first seven generations of Evos. Up until 2003, the only Evo available in the US was on the Gran Turismo games.
Then in 2005, a limited production wagon version was produced for Japan only. 2500 vehicles were produced in 3 trim levels, GT, GT-A, and MR. Most were the GT-A, A for automatic and a de-tuned engine. But the GT and MR both came with a 6 speed manual and the same horsepower rating as the sedan.
Nissan has kept the Skyline away from America for years and the Stagea wagon was no exception. While sharing many components with the Skyline, many Stageas were equipped with N/A RB20DE or RB25DE inline-6 engines. Nothing too exciting there. But some came with the turbo charged RB25DET which produced 231 horsepower, better but not the version to go after.
That would be the 260RS Autech edition. 276hp RB26DETT, ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system from the R33, Brembo brakes, rear LSD, stiffened chassis, Autech body kit were some of the goodies that came on this model.
Only 1734 examples of this wagon were produced.
Shifting over to Germany, the BMW M5 has been available as a wagon or Touring model as it is called in several generations.
The E34 M5 Touring came equipped with the venerable S38B36 3.8 liter inline-6, moving all 5 doors down the road with the help of 335 hp and 295 lb/ft. An E34 M5T was actually used as a test mule for the V12 that found its way into the McLaren F1. Could you imagine………
The E39 and E60 M5 both had Touring models, kind of. BMW contemplated an E39 Touring and actually produced at least one prototype. However they scrapped the idea over financial concerns. The E60 and its bonkers 5.0 liter V10 did make it into production, just not across the Atlantic.
We did get a 6 speed manual transmission option along with the problematic SMG single clutch transmission, so who really came out the winner? Just 1025 E60 Touring models were produced in 5 years.
Hopefully the RS6 Avant will open up the flood gates for manufacturers to sell wagons in the US, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.