The first Audi to bear the RS badge was the formidable and well-aged RS2 Avant, and it’s celebrating its 25th anniversary. The compact wagon was quick and agile enough to make many at the time reconsider both their preconceptions of the German marque as well as the potential of an ordinary car to pack such a wallop.
Coinciding with the quarter century mark of the Audi RS, Ingolstadt has released a teaser image showing all six of their upcoming high performance models. Six. While we are excited for Audi Sport’s expanding horizons, the fact that so many are being pushed out the door in roughly the same time frame does raise an eyebrow.
We already know that Audi’s high performance division (previously known quattro GmbH) already had a new RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback in development; one could even argue that they’re past due. However, the rest of the line-up remains a mystery.
The car at the far right is obviously large enough to be the RS Q8 the company has been long rumoured to have been working on, but we suspect that it won’t be the only Q model slated for an introduction, not if the Q3 and Q5 have any say in the matter.
Audi is clearly taking heed of its primary competitors BMW and Mercedes-Benz with their respective M and AMG divisions spreading their influence widely throughout their brands’ portfolio of SUVs and crossovers.
Responding in kind, we will have, at least, an RS-badged alternative to many if not all the major high-rider segments. And so far, the only one we have a clearer picture on is the range-topping RS Q8. Like the RS 6 Avant or its more coupe-like sibling, RS 7 Sportback, we need only look at other corners of the Volkswagen Group.
At this point, despite nothing being announced yet, it is a foregone conclusion that all three of the mentioned models will be powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that already graces the Porsche Panamera Turbo, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, or the Lamborghini Urus.
Specifics such as output will vary, naturally, but we expect that only to deviate slightly from the similar cars that are already in production. Of course, all the upcoming Audi Sport cars will also feature brand’s signature quattro all-wheel drive system and, as we’ve come to expect from them, some very nice styling as well.
The only area where we have not had a consistent track record with RS-badged Audis are its chassis balance and character. Let’s hope they manage to nail down consistently in that regard as their rivals have had fewer issues with making their performance models feel truly justified.
We’ll have a much clearer picture, literally, of Audi Sport’s newest batch of cars closer to their planned unveil at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.