2013 Audi RS 5Enlarge Photo
Everybody knows BMW M and Mercedes-AMG, but if you asked the average punter to name the performance division of Audi you’re likely to receive a blank stare or possibly the incorrect answer “RS”. That’s because Audi’s performance cars, many of which wear an RS badge, are developed by a subsidiary called quattro, a name Audi also uses for the branding of its all-wheel-drive systems.
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Audi is eager to clear up the confusion as it prepares to expand its performance offerings, and to do so it is testing the waters with the Audi Sport name in a handful of markets, one of which is Australia.
Audi Sport is the branding Audi uses for its motorsport program, which includes the automaker’s various—and quite successful—endurance racing campaigns. Soon, it may become the brand representing Audi’s most potent road cars as well.
"We've previously referred to our performance cars subsidiary as quattro GmbH but now we group them all together under the banner of Audi Sport,” Audi Australia chief Andrew Doyle told Motoring. "Audi Sport makes it much more identifiable for our customers and allows us to leverage the strength and the credibility we have from our motorsport activities.”
Cars that would be grouped under the Audi Sport banner are the RS 3 Sportback, RS Q3, TT RS, RS 4 Avant, RS 5, RS 5 Cabrio, RS 6 Avant, RS 7 and R8, but there are plans for more.
And we're not just talking a name change here. According to Doyle, there will be standalone departments at dealerships as well as improved pre- and after-sales service. There will also be special events like driver experience days and other promotional efforts.
Importantly, it appears Audi is finally serious about its performance offerings, which means we may finally see more of the cars here in the United States. Two models likely arriving soon will be new RS 3 and RS 4 sports sedans.