RS range on way from Audi

Audi’s mak­ing more rac­ers, writes KARLA PIN­COTT

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

THE long-held Audi pol­icy of hav­ing a sin­gle RS model is no more. But don’t ex­pect to see one in ev­ery model range any time soon.

The RS — such as the RS4 of a few years ago and the cur­rent RS6 — were in­tended to give Audi a ‘‘halo’’ model.

But that was blown away with the ar­rival of the fire­breath­ing R8 sportscar, which tops the en­tire four-ringed sta­ble.

Audi Aus­tralia mar­ket­ing head Immo Buschmann says the R8 killed the pol­icy of hav­ing only one RS.

‘‘There are other RS cars com­ing, but we will not have one in ev­ery range be­cause that would di­lute its pres­tige,’’ he says.

Buschmann, who pre­vi­ously cited the sin­gle-RS pol­icy when asked about a re­turn of the RS4, says he has learned to never say never.

‘‘De­mand dic­tates sup­ply and if we re­alise there is po­ten­tial in the mar­ket for a prod­uct we’ll look at that,’’ he says.

First cab off the rank to join the RS6 will come in the form of the TT RS, which will see a re­turn of a sporty five-cylin­der in the range with a new Volk­swa­gen-sourced 246kW/450Nm twin­charger (us­ing tur­bos and su­per­charg­ers).

‘‘This is a re­turn to our her­itage.

‘‘The five-cylin­der en­gine was some­thing Audi al­ways stood for.

‘‘It was in our first RS model, the RS2 in the early ’90s, so this is a re­turn to our roots.’’

An RS5 is tipped to fol­low within a year, with a tweaked ver­sion of the 4.2-litre V8 that gath­ered a strong fol­low­ing in the RS4.

But the late and lamented RS4 ver­sion of the A4 will not ar­rive un­til some time later. ‘‘The RS ver­sions have al­ways come along late in the range’s life,’’ Buschmann says.

‘‘The cur­rent A4 range is very new, so it will be some time be­fore we think about an RS4. For the mo­ment it’s the RS5 we’re work­ing on.’’

First to show: Audi’s TT RS is a sporty five-cylin­der model.

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