Audi Sport To Shape Audi’s Future Performance Lineup
Just don’t expect any of the hardcore models anytime soonby Kirby, on
Audi’s Quattro GmbH division is no more, at least on a “name” basis. It’s actually still around, except that it’s going by a new name: Audi Sport. The newly-minted sub-brand will cover the German automaker’s entire performance division, right down to the RS models, the R8 supercar, and all other motorsports projects that the German automaker wants to dip its toes into.
Speaking with Top Gear, Audi Sport head Stephan Reil gave a preview of sorts of what we can expect. While he didn’t dive into any specifics, Reil did touch on the possibilities that are now being considered as part of the Audi Sport umbrella. It certainly helped that Top Gear rattled off some leading questions, but Reil admitted a few pieces of information that’s worth pointing out.
One is the possibility of seeing stripped down RS models in the vein of the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S. That’s a possibility, although according to Reil, don’t expect it to happen in the early stages of a model’s life cycle. Still, the appeal of seeing the Audi TT Clubsport come to life is intriguing, to say the least.
Then there’s the subject of variants for the R8, Audi’s resident supercar. Again, Reil played the “wait-and-see” card, saying that no new R8 variants are expected to arrive until the R8 Spyder arrives in all of the automaker’s global markets. That could take a year or so, but once that time comes, there’s a good chance that we get to see the R8 family give birth to new members down the road.
Last and arguably most important is the subject of electrification, something that Audi has been developing in conjunction with parent company Volkswagen. According to Reil, EV versions of future RS models are going to happen in their own time, or when they start to make sense from business and technology points of view.
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Temper your expectations for now
Audi has a lot invested on the Audi Sport sub-brand, but from the way Stephan Reil painted the new sub-brand’s objectives, it seems like the German automaker is playing its cards conservatively on how to build up Audi Sport. That’s not to say that there won’t be any performance cars on the horizon because there will surely be some that will arrive in the not-so-distant future. What they are is the intriguing question, but as far as we know, Audi Sport is keeping those details close to its chest.
Move away from the urgency of trying to figure out what these plans are and you’ll notice that over the years, Audi has built up a pretty impressive list of concepts and prototypes that may suddenly have a home under Audi Sport. There’s the aforementioned TT Clubsport. There’s the Quattro Concept from 2013 and the Quattro Laserlight Concept from 2014. Then there are the R8 variants and e-tron models, which could turn into the defining lines of Audi Sport.
At some point in the future, Audi Sport will have a full plate of performance models under its name. The key, for now, is to remain patient on what these models will turn out to be.
Read our full review on the Audi RS3 sedan here.