5 Audi RS Models We Would Love in the US
By Zlatan Stankovic on October 18, 2017
In recent years, Audi Sport has promised expansion and we’re now on the verge of this happening. For the RS range in particular, this has never really reached the same levels as the Mercedes-AMG or even the BMW M in the US. Originally, it was the Quattro GmbH brand who produced six RS models and these were designed especially for the US market. In 2016, they changed the name to Audi Sport and they’ve been promising big changes ever since.
Not only are they suggesting changes, they’ve targeted a goal of doubling their RS range in the next few years. In terms of new models, there are five in the pipeline right now and they should be introduced by 2020. However, we still don’t know the models that have been selected for this project. Instead of offering you rumors that have no grounding or any sort of predictions, we thought we’d show you the five models we want to see. If we were to choose right now, we’d go for these five and we think they would be amazing in the US.
To start this list, we thought we’d offer the one that’s least likely just so we can live in dreamland for a while. With the RS6 Avant, this is actually a wagon version of the RS7 and it’s only available in Europe right now. Of course, there has been rumors surrounding the appearance of the RS6 in the next generation of US vehicles but there are a few problems with the design including the ride height.
With the release of the new RS7, there has also been suggestions Audi could offer 700 horsepower as a hybrid model to outperform the E63 and M5. In the next generation, Audi Sport is already bringing A6 and A7 models to the US and we would love to see the RS6 and RS7 come with it (no matter how unlikely!); especially if it comes with the 700 horsepower hybrid drivetrain.
Features - In case you haven't seen this model previously, we should explain it offers a start/stop system with energy recuperation, a 75 liter fuel tank, cylinder-on-demand technology, an ‘overboost’ function, RS-specific adaptive air suspension, electromechanical parking brake, locking wheel bolts, RS instruments, and more.
Currently, Audi is well known for its SQ7…but not in the US. As a powerhouse of an SUV, the engine is actually a tri-turbo diesel V8 which allows for 664 lb-ft torque and nearly 440 horsepower. Once again, the likelihood of this model ever reaching the US market is slim but the hybrid drivetrain will be a perfect fit for an RS Q7. In other locations around the world, Audi is even working on a Q8 already so there’s potential here too.
As well as all the classic features in this model (which we’ll see in just a moment), a model of this type would also borrow the various hybrid technology options from the Lamborghini Urus which is just around the corner from its release. With Mercedes and BMW both currently offering performance versions of their larger SUVs, there’s no denying there would be interest in the model.
Features - From the outside, it’s easy to note the muscular shape of the Q7 and it has Quattro running through its DNA. With this model, there are two features that stand out above the rest (aside from the performance); the technology and space. Starting with the latter, the SUV is practical and perfect for large groups and families. With space for seven people, ski gear, golf bags, suitcases, and a whole lot more, perhaps the word ‘practical’ is an understatement.
In terms of technology, it kicks off with a state-of-the-art sound system and continues with Audi Connect Safety, Audi Smartphone Interface, MMI Navigation Plus, and much more. If you want to go above and beyond, you can also consider investing in their Virtual Cockpit and Bang & Olufsen speakers. As you can see, this is a stunning SUV model and it’s something we would cover extensively if they were released in the US.
Now, we know what you’re thinking…’you’ve already mentioned the RS6 so why this one too?’. In all fairness, this is a very good question especially considering Audi isn't likely to release one let alone both. However, this is the list of vehicle we want to see in the US and we feel as though the RS4 Avant deserves a mention of its own.
If the RS4 were to be released, it would have a niche all to itself as a performance wagon. On the one side, this means they have easy access to customers and this make you wonder why Audi hasn't considered it before. On the other hand, there must be a reason why there’s no other model in this niche and the most likely answer is the lack of demand. If there was even the smallest demand for such a vehicle, you’d have to think one of the automakers would have picked up on it by now.
With this in mind, how about the RS4 Avant as a sedan? Within the market, they would meet competition from both Mercedes and BMW yet again but at least there’s interest to work with. As we know, the RS5 made it to the US in a move that surprised many but they didn't offer the four-door RS4. In fact, we’ve even seen the RS3 repurposed as a sedan so why not introduce a unique model? Out of the three we’ve discussed so far, this is the one that makes the most sense both practically and because we’ve already welcomed the RS3 and RS5.
Features - Advertised as ‘agile and responsive’, the 450PS V6 engine itself is lightweight and this contributes to a usefulness in various situations from rainy conditions to a tight bend. Once you couple this with the Quattro all-wheel drive, it gives the driver complete control over the vehicle and Audi claim it can reach 62mph in just over four seconds. As we've seen throughout, the model also offers advanced technological equipment inside as well as a luxurious interior.
As we reach the penultimate Audi RS model we’d love to see in the US, we come to an interesting one. A little while ago, Mercedes announced they wouldn't be bringing the C63 to the US. However, they did provide the GLC 63 AMG and this was a great alternative. Essentially, the model became a raised C-Class and it quickly became the closest we’ve ever been to an AMG C-Class wagon.
With Audi, they decided to bring the SQ5 to the US but it wasn't the same as the European model which offered a superb diesel engine. Therefore our next suggestion would be an RS Q5 with the same engine as the RS5. We’re talking 442 lb-ft torque and 450 horsepower created by a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine. As we rifle through our suggestions, we’re now hitting the ones that are most likely. Why? Because it wouldn't require a lot of research for Audi Sport and they already know most of how the vehicle would work.
Features - If we focus on the RS5 engine, it offers numerous benefits including huge air intakes. With the torque increasing significantly from previous models, the RS5 gained lots of attention when it was first released and it’s not hard to see why. Using an all-wheel drive system, an eight-speed automatic could be engaged and the car would become a monster within the niche.
Once you have the engine in place, this is the heart of the vehicle and one of the most pressing matters dealt with immediately. From here, they could follow the script from the SQ5 because this has already proven popular in the United States. With this lethal combination, we’ve created a vehicle that would look and sound majestic, be successful in the market, and it would make us happy!
RS A8 (or A9)
Finally, we have the beautiful A8 and a vehicle that has never entered the RS realm. As the A9 is introduced to the world, could we see an RS A8? According to Audi, the A9 is going to be a two-door model but the majority of the vehicle will be based upon and upgraded from the A8 platform. If rumors are to be believed, this could include an EV drivetrain but we would personally love to see an RS9 version with performance at the core of it all; this could be with a gas or even a hybrid drivetrain.
If Audi were to forget the rule book and just go all out for an RS9, we would never ask anything from the company ever again (at least not for a while!). To continue our comparison with AMG and BMW, the model would compete directly with the Mercedes S-Class and the M8 respectively. For a drivetrain, the options are almost endless and we’d appreciate anything that leads to over 700 horsepower and it would soon become a flagship vehicle for the automaker.
Features - In terms of the feature for an RS A8 or A9, we wouldn't want to speculate too much as this isn't what our guide today is about. This being said, we can take a look at the new A9 and what this is going to bring to the table.
As mentioned previously, the model will actually build upon the platform created by the A8 and it will become the third generation of all-electric vehicles for Audi. According to the company themselves, we’re still some way from seeing it in action since it’s set for release at some point before 2020.
In terms of styling, the A9 will take inspiration from the Prologue Concept car. Inside, there are plans to have three electric motors for the A9 with two taking control of the rear wheels and one dedicated to the front wheels which is an interesting approach. With a 95kWh battery pack, this is expected to yield 310 miles on each charge. Furthermore, the batteries being located under the floor will allow for wireless charging which is a huge step forward for the industry. Finally, the model is also expected to have more advanced autonomous capabilities than any other car in the Audi range.
There we have it, the Audi vehicles we want to see as RS models in the US. In truth, we probably ordered them according to likelihood so will any of these make the cut? Let us know your thoughts and what models you would like to see as Audi Sport increase their product range!