THE LOCAL PORTFOLIO of Ingolstadt-based car maker Audi will get a sporty boost with the imminent arrival of RS models from Audi Sport, its high-performance division.
Set to debut this month, according to PGA Cars, are the Audi RS 3 Sedan, RS 6 Avant and RS Q8. More RS models, including the new R8 supercar, will join Audi Sport’s RS range in the Philippines in 2021.
Audi Sport’s RS models encompass all vehicle segments — from compacts, sedans, coupes and wagons, to crossovers and full-size SUVs. RS models head the respective product lines in the Audi range, “defined by distinct designs and a capacity to be driven daily even if these are focused on performance.” Other current RS models include the RS 4 Avant, RS 5 Coupe, RS 5 Sportback, RS 7 Sportback, TT RS Coupe, TT RS Roadster, RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback. Of note, the R8 was also developed by Audi Sport.
RS models boast Audi’s iconic Quattro all-wheel drive system — with the Quattro name “representing sportiness, safe driving, technical expertise and peak performance in a competitive environment.”
The brand points to the success of Quattro models on the road and victories on the track in the last 40 years as testament to the benefits and advantages of the technology.
Employing Quattro technology, Audi won the World Rally Championship’s manufacturers’ title in 1982, the drivers’ title in 1983 and both crowns in 1984. In 1987, Walter Rohrl, driving an Audi Sport S1, won the legendary Pikes Peak hill climb event. Quattro technology is also said to have helped the brand get the US Trans-Am championship in 1988 and seven national championships in 1996. Audi Sport now exits the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (or German Touring Cars Masters) after taking the German touring car series’ overall championships in 1990, 1991, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017, 2019, and 2020.
Audi Sport teams since 2000 have scored 12 victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, counting in the three consecutive wins of the diesel-powered Audi R10 TDI quattro in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The Audi R18 e-tron Quattro with a hybrid drive accounted for three of the Le Mans victories. It also won two drivers’ and manufacturers’ crowns in the World Endurance Championship.
Motorsports participation inspires and shapes RS models and their form-follows-function approach. In most RS models, the proportion and position of Audi’s signature Singleframe grille are similar to the Audi R8’s — wider and lower compared to standard Audi models. Instead of chrome, they get black trims. “Some RS models have horizontal slits between the grille and the hood, evoking the iconic Audi Sport Quattro of 1984, while others have flared fenders or wider wheel arches — in the case of the Audi RS6 Avant and RS Q8, these can accommodate 22-inch and 23-inch wheels, respectively. Meanwhile, huge air inlets and elliptical tailpipes hint at the models’ turbocharged engines,” said Audi in a release.
RS models undergo development work at the Nürburgring — with each logging at least 8,000 kilometers of testing at the acclaimed German track. “Through this, Audi Sport can determine how RS models’ powertrain and suspension components perform under extreme conditions.” The company revealed that the Audi RS Q8, which currently holds the official fastest lap time for SUVs at the Nürburgring, especially benefited from the testing there.
Audi Sport RS models are also said to boast modern efficiency. Audi technologies like a mild hybrid system based on a 48-volt electrical system, and the cylinder deactivation feature as used in Audi’s V8 TFSI engine, “are fine-tuned to a greater degree, creating a character that is more identifiable to the RS line.”
Audi Sport rolls out RS models mainly from Neckarsulm, Germany, where the cars are assembled by hand. “In this place, RS models’ bodies are assembled on aluminum jigs that use laser scanners to adjust surfaces, joints and radii down to the tenth of a millimeter. This benefits the aerodynamics and build quality of each RS model. Other development work on RS models focuses on their powertrain and suspension,” said the company.
“Our customers demand the best products on the market,” said Oliver Hoffmann, managing director of Audi Sport. “We have the best specialists and teams to meet their high expectations.”