Audi 100 GL Modelljahr 1977 (gelb) - Front-Seitenansicht (rechts)

The Audi Avant is born

Audi 100 Avant

If you hear the name Avant, you think of Audi. This was not always the case. It all started 40 years ago with the Audi 100 Avant. Audi Blog author Max Kranl dug around in the archives and found all of the important information – except: how many beer kegs fit inside.

A bit more than 40 years ago, the word “Avant” would only have meant something to people who spoke a foreign language. Those who understood Italian or French would know that it had to do with something moving forward. In August 1977, the understanding of the word changed forever. That was when Audi presented the 100 Avant, heralding the age of the sporty-yet-elegant station wagon. The original meaning still applied, but from that point on, more and more people immediately thought of Audi when they heard “Avant.”

Audi 100 Avant GL 5_Heck-Seitenansicht (rechts, mit geöffneter Heckklappe)
In August 1977 Audi presented the 100 Avant for the first time: this was the beginning for sporty-yet-elegant station wagons.

Audi 100 Avant: modern, sporty and spacious

Along with the sedan and coupé, the Avant constituted the third body version of the Audi 100, and it thoroughly polished up the humble “beast of burden” image of station wagons up to that time. You could still fit plenty inside, but the car also looked modern and sporty – which fit perfectly with the “Vorsprung durch Technik” slogan. That was what the Avant demonstrated: the lifestyle station wagon quickly became a favorite with skiers, hikers and family men. The legendary photo of the beer keg test was just for fun, however. The records don’t show how many kegs actually fit in the luggage compartment. But our colleagues in Tradition assure us that there were plenty.

Audi 100 Avant_Bierfässer

The legendary photo of the beer keg test was just for fun, however it showed one thing pretty obviously: the Avant is spacious.

Since its premier 40 years ago, the popularity of the Avant has grown steadily. While 49,688 units of the Audi 100 were built, the current Audi A4 is at nearly 200,000 – three quarters of all customers choose the practical body version today. For its 40th anniversary, the museum mobile has dedicated a special exhibition to the Avant, appropriately entitled, “Attractive station wagons are called Avant.”

"Attractive station wagons are called Avant."

Das perfekte Fahrzeug für Wintersportler und Familien: Der Audi 100 Avant ist geräumig und behält trotz dessen seinen sportlichen Look.


Der Audi 100 Avant war das erste Modell mit Autositzen in Verlours und Chromleisten.


Der Audi 100 Avant brachte 86 PS (63 kW) auf die Straße.

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40 years ago, Audi presented the first five-cylinder gasoline engine in the second-generation Audi 100. Enhancements and new developments followed, with turbocharging, emissions control and four-valve technology, rally engines and five-cylinder diesel units. Today, the 2.5 TFSI in the Audi RS 3 Sportback* and in the Audi TT RS* carries on the great tradition of five-cylinder powerplants.

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Boris Chong

13. November 2017 um 23:25
Please bring back the A6 Avant...please, pretty please, more please...

Jonathan Yost

6. October 2017 um 13:48
Hi, I just finished reading this article. I own and love old Audi’s, and have worked for Audi as a mechanic. My question is was the Audi Fox Avant not called an Avant? Thanks Jon

Stephanie Huber

10. October 2017 um 12:46
Hi Jon, thanks a lot for your questions. The Audi Fox was the American and British version of the Audi 80. The station wagon was only available in Great Britain and the US. It was called „Audi Fox Estate“ or „Audi Fox Station Wagon“. The name „Avant“ was introduced in Germany with the Audi 100 of the second generation.


Your Audi Social Media team