The evolution of RennSport
Record sales and largest performance offering ever for Audi Sport.
Despite the impact of COVID-19 on almost every facet of life last year, the enthusiasm for Audi Sport RS models was not only undiminished, but reached record highs in 2020.
16 June, 2021
At the start of 2020 none could have foreseen the global upheaval that was to come in the form of COVID-19 and the devastating toll it would extract worldwide. While almost every area of life was brought to a halt or worse, the Audi Sport brand was not only undiminished, but continued to grow.
Certainly, motorsport was put on hold for the year which halted all Audi Sport customer racing activity and sales of road-going RS models were halted in various markets as localised lockdowns were enforced. But at the close of the year, Audi Sport had recorded its best year of operation, delivering just shy of 30,000 vehicles to customers around the globe (29,300 to be exact) despite the unprecedented situation.
Australia as always, was right in the mix as a significant consumer of Audi Sport products, and over the course of the year, Audi Australia launched a raft of new R and RS models onto the Australian market. The all-new RS Q3 Sportback and RS Q3 made a huge impression Down Under, as did the monstrous RS Q8, TT RS, RS 4 Avant, RS 6 Avant, RS 7 Sportback and RS 5 models. Topping the list for many was the introduction of the new Audi R models – the R8 V10 quattro performance and the R8 V10 RWD representing the pinnacle of the brand’s performance stable.
At the close of 2020, Audi Sport had recorded its best year of sales despite the challenges of the pandemic
The advent of high-performance motoring in the guise of the all-electric RS e-tron GT has ignited tremendous interest amongst performance aficionados
With the international unveiling of the all-new Audi RS e-tron GT earlier this year and the coming launch of the new RS 3 Sportback and RS 3 Sedan, the Audi Sport ranks now stand at an all time high, with no fewer than 15 R and RS models.
“With this specific segment, we’re targeting a very demanding, tech-savvy clientele that places the highest demands on performance and design, but also on suitability for everyday use and customisability,” says Rolf Michl, Audi Sport Head of Sales and Marketing.
“In 2020, we recorded a 16 percent increase in sales despite the coronavirus pandemic – a logical consequence of launching our new models in key sales regions such as Europe, North America, and China, but also in overseas markets such as Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. The appeal of our high-performance vehicles has a positive impact on how the entire brand is perceived.”
But while the demand for Audi Sport’s traditional products has never been higher, the advent of high-performance motoring in the guise of the all-electric RS e-tron GT has ignited tremendous interest amongst performance aficionados for purely electric vehicles that also satisfy that need for supreme performance.
“We began the process of electrifying our Audi Sport models with the combustion engines,” says Audi Sport Managing Director, Sebastian Grams.
“The RS 6 Avant, RS 7 Sportback, and RS Q8 combine powerful 4.0-litre V8 biturbo TFSI engines with 48-volt mild hybrid systems and cylinder on demand technology,” he says.
“Future model generations will take the RS range one step further, with high-performance plug-in hybrids and all-electric powertrains.”
Then of course there is the potential of full electrification, which holds untold possibilities for the future according to Grams.
“E-mobility opens up completely new dimensions in driving dynamics – think, for example, of the fully variable power distribution of the electric quattro drive with torque vectoring. Spearheading our push into the age of high-performance e-mobility will be our fully electric models such as the RS e-tron GT.”
And that move towards electrification of the high-performance sector is happening sooner rather than later according to Rolf Michl:
“We expect to offer more than half of our high-performance models in partially or fully electrified form as early as 2024,” says Michl.
“And by 2026, this figure will likely even be as high as 80 percent.”
“We still see significant potential in the high-performance SUV segment in many markets … by the end of the decade, we plan to only offer electrified models in the high-performance segment - in other words all-electric vehicles and high-performance plug-in hybrids.”
For Australian customers, the appetite for Audi’s RennSport models has never been greater and the pending arrival of the all-new RS e-tron GT will not only add an exciting new model to the Audi Sport line-up, but herald in a new completely take on high-performance motoring Down Under.
“We expect to offer more than half of our high-performance models in partially or fully electrified form as early as 2024"
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