Audi Sport will significantly broaden its line-up in the next year, with a new preview image showing the number of new RS models due to launch before 2019 is out.
The darkened shot shows six models set to wear the performance flagship badge. The first two from the left are Audi's prominent Frankfurt motor show debutants: the new generation RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback.
Stirred into action by the success of performance SUV ranges from rivals BMW M and Mercedes-AMG, newly appointed managing director Oliver Hoffmann previously confirmed that Audi Sport will begin offering range-topping RS versions of nearly every SUV model in the Audi line-up, starting with the heavily anticipated RS Q8.
He said: “We have to stretch our portfolio and the SUV segment is the segment with the most growth. There is high demand from our customers for high-performance SUVs. The RS Q8 we will launch this year. There is really, really high demand for this type of car.”
The Q3 Sportback, a coupe-styled version of the Q3, will also join the RS6 and RS7 as an RS variant at September's Frankfurt motor show. Expectations are that it will retain the inline five-cylinder unit of Audi's smaller RS models, putting out around 400bhp and making the SUV capable of 0-62mph in around four seconds.
Hoffmann, who was recently promoted to the position of managing director after a stint as engineering boss following the departure of CEO Michael-Julius Renz, indicates driveline electrification will play a key role in enhancing the performance of Audi Sport’s RS SUV models.
“If you have the SUV segment with the higher weight, it’s easier to implement a hybrid drivetrain. It’s easier because of the packaging and the higher weight,” he said in an interview at the recent Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race. He added: “For sure, we will increase electric for our RS models in the future.”