Audi Philippines has finally launched the Audi Sport lineup, the automaker’s challenger to BMW’s M and Mercedes-Benz’s AMG models. With the German brand being a successful name in motorsports (DTM, WRC, rallycross, WEC and GT3), its local distributor felt the time was right to introduce the company’s high-performance arm to discerning customers.
While Audi has slowly been bringing in limited numbers of the RS4, the RS6 and the R8, this move formalizes the entry of the Audi Sport brand in the country. The models will have a dedicated section at all Audi dealerships (Audi Greenhills, Audi Bonifacio Global City and Audi Alabang) to distinguish these high-performance models from the regular ones.
The initial model line for Audi Sport includes the RS3, the RS6 Avant estate, the RSQ8 crossover and the R8 V10 Plus supercar. All RS models utilize the famed Quattro all-wheel-drive system, and all but the R8 feature turbocharged engines.
The RS6 and the soon-to-be-available RS4 are the original sleeper cars. Available only in the Avant (station wagon) body style and packing serious power under the hood, these vehicles look very unassuming yet deliver performance powerful enough to scare a sports-car owner while being a practical and versatile family car at the same time.
The RS3’s pièce de résistance is its five-cylinder turbo engine, first seen in the Ur-Quattro that revolutionized World Rally Championship in the early 1980s. Maximum power is 400hp and maximum torque is 480Nm, smoothly managed by a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox.
The R8 has made a name for itself in various World Endurance Championship events, with class and outright victories in 24-hour competitions at Spa and the Nurburgring. The naturally aspirated V10—the very last of its kind for Audi—is pegged at 610hp and 580Nm, and coupled with a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission.
And of course, the RSQ8 is meant for a growing demand for crossovers that have sports-car performance while delivering better mobility on rough terrain. Granted, it’s no out-and-out rock crawler, but it does give one confidence to tackle slippery roads and adverse weather conditions.
Both the RS6 and the RSQ8 pack Audi’s 4.0-liter V8 fed by two turbos nestled in the valley of a V-formation, a layout they pioneered in motorsports. Output and torque are at a staggering 600hp and 800Nm. Power is transferred via a ZF eight-speed automatic.
Fancy a performance car that flies under the radar? Then these Audi Sport models deserve your attention.