After a quiet 2020, Audi is playing catch up and has begun 2021 by launching no fewer than 15 performance models into SA along with 8 RS high-performance models.
Audi has big plans for its performance range this year as it aims to improve sales this year by some 600%. Audi's current performance range includes all models with S, RS and R designation (R is only used for the R8).
As a statement of intent, Audi has just launched 8 new RS models ranging from station wagons to sedans and SUVs. Here's what you can expect to see hitting the street from the Ingolstadt-based brand.
Audi RS4 Avant and RS5 Coupe & Sportback
The popular rivals to the BMW M3/M4, Mercedes-AMG C63 and the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV. The RS4 Avant is exclusively available as a station wagon, giving it a unique selling point as the only high-performance wagon left in the segment. The model puts out 331 kW and 600 Nm of torque. The RS5 Coupe and Sportback are similarly powered but where the Avant claims a 4.1 second 0-100 kph sprint time, the RS5 Coupe is able to hit the benchmark time in just 3.9 seconds. Audi has been aggressive with the pricing (or maybe just hasn't inflated the prices) on these models, which undercut the BMW and Merc rivals by nearly R500k!
Read about the local price and specs here - Audi RS4 & RS5 (2021) Specs and Price
Audi TT RS Coupe and Roadster
Audi revealed pricing on the updated TT RS model right at the end of 2020 and pricing has remained the same as of this official RS launch day. The TT RS uses the much-loved 2.5-litre 5-cylinder turbopetrol unit to develop 294 kW and 480 Nm of torque. The Coupe model absolutely blitzes off the mark, hitting 100 kph in just 3.7 seconds with the drop-top taking 3.9 seconds.
Check out the local pricing for the Audi TT RS here - Hotter Audi TT RS in SA (2020) Specs & Price
Audi RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback
The mega-powerful RS6 and RS7 models enter the market hoping to capitalize on the fading super-limo segment with some of the most jaw-droppingly designed models. The RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback are distinctive and aggressive in design while featuring a mammoth 441 kW and 800 Nm of torque. The Wagon and Sportback both smash through the 100 kph barrier in 3.6 seconds.
Local specifications and pricing for these models can be found here - Audi RS6 & RS7 (2021) Specs & Price
Audi RS Q3
The plucky RS Q3 finally makes a return after a lengthy absence from the SA market. The RS Q3 is available in both standard guise as well as in the RS Q3 Coupe form. The same engine that powers the TT RS is used in the RS Q3 but due to its bulkier shape and weight, it's not quite as fast to 100 kph, breaking the timing beam in 4.5 seconds.
Check out the specs and price here - Audi RS Q3 (2021) Price Announced
Audi RS Q8
The all-new mighty SUV is the first of its kind, using Lamborghini Urus power and platform to imbue it with all the skills to set it apart from the BMW X6 M, Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S, Range Rover SVR, Jaguar F-Pace SVR, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, Alfa Romeo Stelvio Qudarifoglio and whatever other power houses join the fray in the next few minutes. Under the bonnet is a 441 kW/800 Nm bi-turbocharged engine that shunts the 2-tonne plus SUV to 100 kph in just 3.8 seconds.
Audi RS Q8 quattro - R2 354 500