Audi’s RS division is set to expand its global appeal with new models and a better understanding of its customers’ needs internationally.
Speaking with Australian media at Audi’s Quattro headquarters in Neuburg, Germany, the man in charge of RS vehicles Heinz Hollerweger admitted that the division was initially started for European markets.
“The Quattro GmbH started really for the European market,” Hollerweger said.
“While I think we have good share in the European market we still have a lot of work to do in the US, Australian and Asia, so our next step is to of course introduce more models that are in the body style more likely for the other markets than the European market.”
In 2012, Audi’s high-performance arm sold 11,500 vehicles, which grew to 15,000 in 2013. Heinz admits that for that growth rate to continue the brand needs to mature globally. The new focus for Quattro GmbH, which is entrusted with all of Audi’s hottest models, is to create additional models that help the niche brand grow.
“We are focusing on the new markets with our new materials and technology.”
Asked by CarAdvice what particular body styles RS cars would be best suited to internationally, Hollerweger said it was not a straight forward question, though suggested SUVs, Sportbacks and sedans were the most likely candidates.
“Of course, we have to realise there is a demand for Q models in the RS. I think SUVs are very famous and very popular all over the world, so we have started with the RSQ3 and we could think about more RS models in the Q body style.”
The first of these models will more than likely be the new Audi RS3 sedan and hatch, expected to be confirmed next month with production to start in next 18-24 months.
The SUV RS family will also more than likely see the introduction of the RSQ5 to join the RSQ3.
Quattro GmbH will also launch the new Audi R8 next year, now being built at a newly developed facility in Bollinger Hofe.