By on November 30, 2016

Audi RS 3

While the general populace will likely remain confused, automotive enthusiasts will now be able to differentiate between Audi’s all-wheel-drive system and its performance sports car subsidiary.

The company has officially taken its Quattro GmbH division and renamed it Audi Sport GmbH. Quattro (which means four) will now only refer to the all-wheel drive system and Sport (which means sport) will denote the high-performance RS cars, Audi-exclusive customization, and customer motorsport. 

This was long overdue. We all love the iconic road and rally car, and it’s nice to be reminded of it, but you can only stretch the Quattro name in so many different directions. It’s also nice to see Audi Sport live on in some variant of petroleum-powered motorsport after the diesel emissions scandal forced the company to leave WEC for Formula E.

Audi Sport plants to launch eight new performance-plus models over the next 18 months. The company was not, however, willing to expand on what those vehicles might be. Although it did say that it would be increasing the current number of Audi Sport dealerships from 370 to 600 by the end of next year. This isn’t wishful thinking on the automaker’s part — the increase is being done to meet consumer demand. The sporting subsidiary has seen its sales double over the last five years.

Stephan Winkelmann has led Quattro GmbH since March 2016 and will continue on as CEO as Audi Sport opens dealerships and releases new cars.

“The subsidiary’s focus is to create the most prestigious models in the portfolio of Audi AG,” the company said in a statement.

Audi Sport’s stable is currently occupied by the RS 3, RS 3 LMS, RS Q3, RS 6 Avant, RS 7 Sportback, TT RS, R8, and S8 plus. You can speculate on where the company might find room for an additional eight RS and S plusses.

audi rs 3 lms

[Images: Audi AG]

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23 Comments on “Audi Finally Renames its Sporting Division, Promises Eight New Performance Models...”


  • avatar
    never_follow

    If we’re being pedantic, it is (or was) quattro GmbH (lower case). Always cool to see that on the manufacturing tag.

    Not that it matters much any more. Like the other in house German tuners, the glory is fading, especially now that their massively successful racing program has shut up shop.

    • 0 avatar
      Carter Johnson

      You’re correct, @never_follow. Properly, the only two models which have every been marketed with a capital Q are the original Quattro and the B3 Coupe Quattro. All others have been lower case, to my knowledge. While we’re there, the “allroad” also didn’t have a capital A.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    No hurrying since the Japanese have a ways to go in forced induction, luxury.

  • avatar
    RHD

    When is an Audi not an Audi?

    Whaddaya talkin’ about, it’s still an Audi!

    When is a VW not a Volkswagen?

    When it’s an Audi!

  • avatar
    Tosh

    When there’s room for moar speedholes, there’s room for moar models.

  • avatar

    Audi A4 S4 quattro S-Line Sport Avant

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Audi V8 all day long.

      • 0 avatar

        Years ago ~2009, I sold a guy in Ft. Lauderdale a 2005 Lincoln LS V8. He gave me his uncle’s ’01 Audi S8 on consignment. Gorgeous car – dark metallic blue on tan leather and 62k miles.

        That was the only foreign car I’ve ever seen my father like and compliment. He even hand-waxed it one weekend I took it home.

        Even now, I occasionally hear, “What’s that? That ain’t no car; its foreign junk. Except that Audi you had once. THAT was a car.”

      • 0 avatar
        Carter Johnson

        I loved (and, hated) my ’93 V8 4.2 quattro. What a great (and, horrible) car.

        It’s getting quite close to being possible to import European-spec 6-speed 4.2s, but finding them even in Germany is getting tough.

        • 0 avatar
          never_follow

          NOW my random affinity for you makes sense, you’re a fellow V8 enthusiast/masochist. The car that should have been sold with a parts car!

          I also loved my ’90 3.6, which was straight piped and chipped, and had proper E-codes to replace the DOT spec junk. It couldn’t make the move cross country, so I sold it.

          As an aside, I see you have a story up today, is there still going to be our Friday history lesson?

  • avatar
    Chris from Cali

    I am so excited about this news. I’ve been lobbying Audi of America via a private forum for quite a while now. When AoA had the last RS4 Avant at Cars & Coffee in VA a couple years or so ago, I went to my dealer and put a deposit immediately.

    My only concern is that these will be a bunch of RS SUVs and sedans, not Avants (like the incoming RS3 – sedan, not wagon like the RoW). Even if Audi only brought one RS Avant variant, I’d be happy (probably RS4).

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    This article showed me I am not even a little of an Audi enthusiast I thought I was. I had no clue Quattro was anything but their brand of awd, like 4matic, 4motion, xdrive etc.

    All my friends have started referring to rainy snowy days as ” it’s Quattro time” though, a term I popularized tongue in cheek.

    • 0 avatar
      Chris from Cali

      Quattro is the AWD system. quattro GmbH is the motorsports (aka RS) arm. First comment spelled it out.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        Now I get it. Thanks!

      • 0 avatar
        Carter Johnson

        technically, quattro (lower case) is also the all-wheel drive system. Quattro (upper case) was the original model which had quattro (lower case) all-wheel drive. That confusion has resulted in the moniker Ur (a bastardization of the German ursprünglich, or original/origin) being placed in front of Quattro to differentiate it from quattros.

        Make sense?

        • 0 avatar
          Chris from Cali

          I was making a pun based on the first post (“spelled it out”). :/

          But yes, all the Q/quattro’ing is a bit much.

          I’m still very excited (and hopeful) for some genuine RS Avants showing up.

          Though if I’m being honest, I’d really love a nice, well-preserved RS2.

          • 0 avatar
            Carter Johnson

            Value for money, the B5 RS4 is the way to go right now. There’s been a relatively mint, lower mile example on eBay recently for $35,000 or so. They’re also able to be registered in the U.S. (though I don’t know the particulars on how, there is a loophole).

  • avatar
    Sorted Corty

    I hope they don’t all have basically the same grille!

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    As a long-time Audi owner, my guess is that 99% of the general population and 98% of Audi owners couldn’t care less.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    Wait, seriously? The best they could come up with is “Sport”.

    Every car manufacturer uses sport and in my opinion, whenever I hear sport, it sounds like sporty. As in sorta performance, but not the full performance version.

    I get that Quattro was dated, but Audi Sport seems anticlimactic and boring.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I don’t really get why RS was not sufficient. S and RS are understandable, and Quattro has always been the AWD system.

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