Audi Sport gears up for electric future

Performance division readies product offensive with six new models

Audi Sport is embarking on its most aggressive product offensive in its 25-year history with six new RS-badged SUVs and supersaloons scheduled for launch before the end of the year.

Following the reveal of the new RS6 Avant a few weeks ago, the first RS6 to be sold in the US, and the RS7 Sportback at the Frankfurt motor show, Oliver Hoffmann, joint managing director of Audi Sport alongside Julius Seebach, confirmed both an RSQ3 and RSQ3 Sportback will join the portfolio along with an RSQ8 before the end of the year. A facelifted RS4 Avant will arrive towards the end of Q1 in 2020. These new models will join the current Audi Sport models – TT RS, RS3, RS5 and R8.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

> New Audi RS7 Sportback joins Audi Sport model offensive

‘We will offer an Audi Sport RS model in the segments where there is customer demand and the car can be developed as a true RS model,’ Hoffmann said during the reveal of the RS7 Sportback on the eve of the Frankfurt show.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

‘What we won’t do is offer RS models if we don’t think it is right for the brand. The SQ5, for example, is a very good Audi S car but we don’t have to produce an RS version. Audi AG doesn’t tell us which cars we have to produce.’

With three new Audi RS SUVs to be revealed before the end of the year, we will have to wait until the spring of 2020 before a new RS4 Avant arrives, which will still be sooner than is the norm due to Audi Sport’s ambitious plans to more than halve the time it takes for its cars to come to market after the series model has gone on sale.

‘Traditionally it takes 18 months for an RS derivative to be launched after the series car is revealed, but our customers want their RS models sooner so we have to reduce the time it takes to develop our cars.

‘We will reduce this time to around six months,’ said Hoffmann. To achieve this goal Audi Sport is now involved in the first stages of a new series model’s design and development. ‘We have to be involved at the very beginning of the series car’s development process – it allows us to start the development of the RS model much sooner and influence the series car’s design to better suit the requirements of an RS model.’

While Audi Sport forges ahead with its model offensive it is also planning its next generation of powertrain options. ‘We will introduce plug-in hybrid Audi Sport models,’ confirmed Hoffmann. ‘We are also working on our electrification strategy for the future. We will have our first electric Audi Sport car soon, the e-tron GT, and this will be followed by a family of electric Audi Sport models.’

What Hoffmann wouldn’t be drawn on was the future of the R8. ‘It’s our halo car and this is important to us, but we haven’t made a decision yet on the next R8.’

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/audi/audi-e-tron/19240/audi-e-tron-sportback-unveiled-as-all-electric-coupe-suv
Audi e-tron

Audi E-tron Sportback unveiled as all-electric coupe SUV

20 Nov 2019
Visit/polestar/202256/new-polestar-precept-concept-teased-ahead-of-geneva-motor-show-debut
Polestar

New Polestar Precept concept teased ahead of Geneva motor show debut

19 Feb 2020
Visit/ford/mustang/201952/ford-mustang-mach-e-makes-uk-debut
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Mach-E makes UK debut

14 Feb 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/honda/civic-type-r/202099/honda-civic-type-r-limited-edition-revealed-amongst-range-wide-updates
Honda Civic Type-R

Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition revealed amongst range-wide updates

Our hopes have been addressed and more, as Honda launches two more Civic Type R versions at the top and tail of the range
20 Feb 2020
Visit/seat/leon-cupra/22765/new-2020-cupra-leon-revealed-cupra-hits-back-with-hot-hatch-and-estate
SEAT Leon Cupra

New 2020 Cupra Leon revealed

Cupra’s launched not just one, but a whole range of hot Leons to rival the rapidly expanding hot hatch class in 2020
21 Feb 2020
Visit/bmw/3-series/202267/new-bmw-m340d-xdrive-saloon-and-touring-revealed-with-516lb-ft-of-torque
BMW 3 Series

New BMW M340d xDrive Saloon and Touring revealed

BMW has released its range-topping black pump 3-series models, with a predictably impressive torque figure
20 Feb 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019