The RS models from Audi Sport are the dynamic spearheads of their respective product lines. They have a strong character that consists of distinct design differentiation, full everyday usability, effortless top performance, and a thrilling driving experience. This results from a relentless focus on minute details by the designers and development and test engineers, and it is perfected over numerous test drives around the world. There is a behind-the-scenes look at development work.
Test engineers from Audi Sport GmbH spent around two years on the road in the RS Q8, covering more than 1.2 million kilometers, the equivalent of driving around the world 30 times, with development vehicles and prototypes. The test drives took them to Finland, Sweden, France, Italy, South Africa, China, and the USA. They were conducted on all types of racing tracks and roads.
Testing areas like the high-speed circular track in the southern Italian town of Nardò were used to test the resilience of all components at a consistently high speed. The ice and snow in Scandinavia offered ideal conditions for putting the finishing touches to the response characteristics of the suspension and control systems. When driving on a slippery surface, even minor changes to the setup have very noticeable effects. The heat and elevation in South Africa presented the air conditioning, engine cooling, and performance characteristics with special challenges.
The RS models are the dynamic spearheads in Audi’s model portfolio, as is already indicated by their particularly striking exterior design. It is very much inspired by motorsports, combining cool understatement with a dynamic edge. Top performance in motorsports requires more extreme component shapes. According to the principle of “form follows function,” it is therefore natural that the use of high-performance technologies from motorsports is also reflected in the visual appearance of RS models.
In many RS models, the proportion and position of the Singleframe are based on the R8. It is both wider and lower than on its sister models and dominated by a puristic, sporty black instead of chrome elements. Some RS models have horizontal slits between the grille and the hood that are reminiscent of the iconic Audi Sport quattro from 1984. Mighty air inlets and large elliptical tailpipes symbolize the power of the turbocharged engines.
The Audi maxim of uncompromising quality applies to each of the many exclusive solutions. “Our customers demand the best products on the market,” says the Managing Director of Audi Sport, Oliver Hoffmann. “We have the best specialists and teams to meet their high expectations.” The RS workshops, where the first cars are assembled by hand, play an important part during the development phase.
RS models are produced at four locations. The RS 3 Sportback, the RS 3 Sedan, the RS 4 Avant, the RS 5 Coupé, and the RS 5 Sportback roll off the line in the German plant in Ingolstadt. The RS 6 Avant and the RS 7 Sportback are produced at the Neckarsulm site. At the Hungarian plant in Győr, the TT RS as a Coupé and Roadster, the RS Q3 and the RS Q3 Sportback are built. The RS Q8 is produced at the Slovakian plant in Bratislava. All RS models are processed on shared systems with their sister models. The Audi press shops supply the specific sheet metal parts made of steel or, in many cases, aluminum that are then assembled in the body shop.