The division gets a new moniker, but its work remains about the same.
Audi’s top performance models will no longer come from Quattro GmbH but don’t worry because ultra-quick all-wheel drive vehicles will still arrive from the Four Rings. However, now the division will have the title Audi Sport GmbH. This change will really only amount to a new name because the engineering work will continue coming from the department’s facility in Neckarsulm, Germany, and Stephan Winkelmann will still be boss there.
Audi Sport is the firm’s way its performance business under one roof. The division will handle development of Audi’s RS models and the R8. It will also take care of customer racing projects like the RS3 LMS. The division will design the customization equipment for the Audi Exclusive line, too.
Audi Sport will now look to grow by launching eight new models over the next 18 months, which will take the total lineup to 15 vehicles. New versions of the A4 and A5 will almost surely by among them, and there will potentially be high-performance variants of the Q5 and Q7, too. There's also a rumor of an RS6 Allroad. An exec even hinted at launching even more hardcore versions of some models when the products reach the late stages of their life cycle.
The division’s latest product is the 400 horsepower (294 kilowatts) RS3 Sedan with a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine. The four-door can get to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in phenomenal 4.1 seconds, and an option package allows for a top speed of 174 mph (280 kph). They arrive in summer 2017 in the United States and China.
The former Quattro GmbH set up shop in Neckarsulm in 1983 as Audi’s performance specialists. The division started building road cars in 1994 with the introduction of the RS2 Avant. Based on an Audi 80, the team worked with Porsche to overhaul the vehicle and turned it into a ridiculously quick wagon that could also haul the whole family.