Alex Misoyannis • Audi has used the 25th anniversary of its high-performance RS division to announce two “completely new RS models” will be introduced in 2019.
The most obvious candidates to join the RS line-up are the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback. The large wagon and liftback have been spied on numerous occasions in development at the Nürburgring, with a reveal believed to be imminent.
In RS guise, the engine is expected produce around 450kW of power and 800Nm of torque, with the 0-100km/h sprint time likely to fall into the mid-three second bracket.
The cars should also benefit from a number of chassis and body changes, including stiffer suspension, larger brakes, stickier performance tyres and aggressive body kits.
Another candidate could be the next-generation RS Q3, powered by the 294kW/480Nm 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine from the soon-to-return RS3. Other changes are likely to include a lower ride height, large wheels and sportier bumpers and skirts – camouflaged Q3s with such modifications have been spotted conducting hot weather and track testing.
However, Audi’s classification of the upcoming RS models as “completely new” indicates that the Ingolstadt brand is preparing to add some spice to models it hasn’t fettled before.
One potential option is the Q8, the German brand’s rival to the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe.
If it were to receive the RS treatment, it’d likely be powered by the same 450kW twin-turbo V8 as the aforementioned RS6 and RS7, though its additional mass would result in a 0-100km/h time in the high-three-second range. Such a vehicle has been rumoured in the past and has already been spied testing on the open road.
Alternatively, a RS Q5 could be in the works, with the 331kW/600Nm 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine from the RS 4 Avant and RS 5 Coupe/Sportback.
Nothing has been snapped by our spy photographers, though the availability of a suitable engine and transmission combination suggests that a hotter Q5 is within the realms of possibility.
As part of the 25th anniversary celebrations, Audi is reflecting on some of the best RS models from its past, ranging from the original Porsche-developed five-cylinder RS 2 Avant of 1994, to the 5.0-litre twin-turbo V10 powered RS 6 limousine built from 2008-2010.
Other models celebrated include the V8 RS4 Avant introduced in 2013, and the 280kW 1999 RS4 Avant powered by a twin-turbo 2.7-litre Cosworth V6.