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Audi Sport plans new-model blitz

Going sporty: Audi’s is set to ramp up its Audi Sport range, which should be music to the ears of Audi Australia – number four in sales of Audi R models in the world.

Eight R-rated Audis confirmed for launch by mid-2018 under Audi Sport banner

30 Nov 2016

AUDI has promised eight new high-performance models over the next 18 months under the Audi Sport banner that has replaced the confusing Quattro GmbH tag of its 23-year-old sportscar division responsible for the tarmac-tearing R8 and RS variants.

Audi’s rival for BMW’s M division and Mercedes-AMG has been marketing its flagship sports vehicles under the Audi Sport banner since last year, but now the fully owned subsidiary of Audi AG that develops them has been formally renamed.

The Quattro name was originally taken from the all-wheel-drive system pioneered by Audi in the 1980s, but the company now reckons the Audi Sport name is a better fit, covering a range of vehicles that is likely to include all-electric and plug-in hybrid sportscars in future.

The name change will have little effect in Australia where all seven current Audi Sport models are on sale and in demand, making Audi Australia number four in Audi Sport sales globally.

So far this year, Audi has delivered a record 1040 Audi Sport-fettled R8 and RS cars, representing five per cent of its 20,001 vehicle sales to the end of October.

Audi Australia managing director Andrew Doyle said the Australian appetite for performance models was well-known.

“Over the last decade, as our RS model range has grown more proliferate alongside the all-new second-generation R8 that we introduced earlier this year, the Audi Sport brand has established for itself a reputation for building some of the finest performance cars on the market,” he said.

“RS models sit at the pinnacle of our model range in terms of performance, yet they are versatile enough to complement the lifestyles of a wide variety of owners. We look forward to continuing the success story that is the Audi Sport legacy.”

So far, the Audi Sport range includes the R8 Coupe and Spyder, along with RS versions of the A4, Q3, A6 Avant, A7 Sportback, TT Coupe and Roadster and A8.

In an announcement outlining the formal change of name from Quattro to Audi Sport, the German car-maker said it had doubled global sales of R8 and RS models in the past five years.

“Over the next 18 months, Audi Sport GmbH will be launching eight new models, which will further consolidate the company’s position in the market,” he said.

“The number of specialised Audi Sport dealers will increase from 370 at present to around 600 by the end of 2017.”

With its headquarters in Neckarsulm, Germany, Quattro GmbH was founded in 1983.

The first RS model was the RS2 Avant, in 1994, while the R8 appeared in 2007.

The “red rhombus” – the red slash emblem – of Audi Sport also covers Audi’s global motorsport efforts, including customer racing cars, and a range of merchandise.

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