Audi Sport – the main rival to AMG’s performance brand – is expected to double the amount of RS performance vehicles within its range over the course of the next year and a half, says the division’s new chief, Stephan Winkelmann.
There are presently seven models within the RS line-up, including the R8 and both hard and soft-top TT models. An additional eight will be unveiled by 2018, Winkelmann revealed.
“There is more to come,” he said. “We have one company, one name and we have a brand. But we will remain exclusive.”
Included amongst the RS line-up are hot versions of the A3, Q3, TT, A6 and A7. Other models will receive the same treatment over the next 18 months. Winkelmann remained tight lipped on any sort of time line and which models would feature, though it’s expected the A1, A4 and Q5 will be involved.
Winkelmann, formerly the head of Lamborghini, took over the RS brand earlier this year. Already the company has seen Quattro, RS, Audi Exclusive and the Customer Care division merge into one organisation under his stewardship.
Winkelmann has promised to steer RS in a different direction from that of AMG, whose sales are rocketing.
“We are not going to do what they do,” he stated. “We have a lot of plans but are not revealing them yet. It is better to under-promise and over-deliver.”
While AMG has doubled its sales over the past two years to 80,000 units, Audi may smash through the 20,000-unit level this year. “We will experience double-digit growth this year,” said Winkelmann.
But while AMG is contemplating more stand-alone models, Winkelmann wouldn’t be drawn about adding a second unique RS product. “Let’s see,” he said.