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.
Gallery: Audi RS6 and RS7 performance are back in new promo footage
Moving forward under a new name: quattro GmbH becomes Audi Sport GmbH
Audi Sport GmbH: based in Neckarsulm, built on four business areas
Core business is the manufacturing of the Audi R8 and RS models
quattro GmbH, established in Neckarsulm in 1983, is now operating as Audi Sport GmbH. With Stephan Winkelmann at the helm, this fully owned subsidiary of AUDI AG currently has around 1,200 employees.
Since 1983 quattro GmbH, with its headquarters in Neckarsulm, has been building high-performance sports cars and delivering high-tech automotive concepts. And now the Audi subsidiary has changed its name to Audi Sport GmbH. It is built on four business areas. In addition to developing and manufacturing the Audi R8* and Audi RS models, it is responsible for customer motorsport – Audi Sport customer racing. Other areas of business include car customization options via the Audi exclusive program, plus lifestyle articles marketed as the Audi Sport collection.
The name Audi Sport is inspired by a long and successful tradition of motorsport. As far back as the 1930s, the legendary “Silver Arrow” models of Auto Union were the ultimate benchmark on racing circuits worldwide. In the 1980s, the Audi quattro with permanent all-wheel drive proved outstandingly successful in rally competition. Today the brand with the four rings is involved in the DTM, Formula E, GT racing and in the TCR category. Young racing talent is being fostered in the Audi Sport TT Cup. The production models benefit from developments and technologies first used in motorsport. The Audi R8 and the Audi RS models represent the sporty vanguard of the brand, combining superlative performance with exclusiveness and prestige.
The abbreviation RS stands for the most powerful engine version within a particular Audi model series, for impressive dynamic performance, for understated sophistication coupled with comprehensive everyday usability, and for quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The brand’s RS tradition started in 1994 with the appearance of the Audi RS 2 Avant.
It was a trendsetter – a genuine high-performance sports car with five seats and a large luggage compartment. Since then, quattro GmbH has steadily expanded the portfolio of RS models, which now range from the compact Audi RS 3 Sportback* to superior cars such as the Audi RS 6 Avant* or Audi RS 7 Sportback*. The subsidiary’s focus is to create the most prestigious models in the portfolio of AUDI AG.
The Audi R8 is the pinnacle of the product range. The first generation appeared on the market in 2007 with an innovative vehicle concept: mid-engine, systematic lightweight construction featuring Audi Space Frame technology, and quattro drive. The high-performance sports car provides a typical driving experience, but is also perfectly suited to the racetrack thanks to its optimum power-to-weight ratio.
The Audi subsidiary doubled its sales over 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. The number of specialized Audi Sport dealers will increase from 370 at present to around 600 by the end of 2017.
Stephan Winkelmann has been Managing Director of the company since March 15, 2016. Audi Sport GmbH has around 1,200 employees at locations in Neckarsulm and Ingolstadt.
The product portfolio of Audi Sport GmbH currently comprises the following models:
Audi RS 3 Sedan*
Audi RS Q3*, Audi RS Q3 performance*
Audi RS 6 Avant*, Audi RS 6 Avant performance*
Audi RS 7 Sportback*, Audi RS 7 Sportback performance*
Audi TT RS Coupé*, Audi TT RS Roadster*
Audi R8 Coupé*, Audi R8 Spyder*
Audi S8 plus*