Audi Sport is expanding, and these are the cars that we want it to build.
In the US, Audi's RS performance range has never been as popular as BMW M or Mercedes-AMG. Quattro GmbH only produced six different RS cars for the US before changing its name to Audi Sport in 2016. So we were thrilled to learn that Audi Sport wanted to double the number of RS models. We now know that Audi Sport wants to build five new RS models for the US by 2020, although what those models will be remains unknown. In case the decision has yet to be finalized, here are five Audi Sport models we would most like to see in the US.
Our most wanted, and least likely, RS car is the RS6 Avant. This is basically the wagon variant of the RS7 that only Europe is allowed to have. We've heard rumors that Audi could bring the RS6 to the US in the next generation, although it would likely be raised up a few inches like the current A4 Allroad. There have also been rumors that Audi could blow the M5 and E63 away with a 700-hp hybrid when the new RS7 is revealed. When the next generation A6 and A7 arrive, we hope that Audi will bring both the RS6 and RS7 to the US, hopefully with a 700-hp hybrid drivetrain.
Audi already builds an SQ7, just not for the US market. This monster SUV uses a tri-turbo diesel V8 with 435 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. We doubt that this diesel engine will make it to the US, but the upcoming hybrid drivetrain for the new RS7 could be perfect for an RS Q7. We also know that Audi is working on a Q8 to slot above the Q7, so perhaps a RS Q8 could be a potential option as well. We'd expect an RS Q7 or RS Q8 to borrow hybrid technology from the upcoming Lamborghini Urus. BMW and Mercedes both build performance versions of their large SUVs, so this is a market ripe for competition.
As much as we would love to have two wagons on this list, we doubt that Audi would consider bringing the RS4 Avant to the US. Even though the RS4 would be the only performance wagon on the market, we don't think there would be a huge demand for it. That doesn't mean we wouldn't like to see it return to the US as a sedan. Both BMW and Mercedes sell a coupe and sedan in this segment. We aren't sure why Audi only brought the RS5 coupe to the US, without a four-door RS4. We've seen Audi repurpose the RS3 hatch as a sedan for the US market, so this seems like a move that the company could make.
Even though Mercedes didn't bring the C63 wagon to the US, it made up for it with the next best thing: the GLC 63 AMG. The GLC is basically a raised C-Class, so the GLC 63 is the closest thing that we have to an AMG C-Class wagon at the moment. Audi has already given the US an SQ5, although it doesn't have the awesome diesel engine found in the European model. We'd like to see an RS Q5 with the same engine as the current RS5. This would mean a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 450 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. This seems like an obvious move for Audi Sport that wouldn't involve a ton of R&D.
Audi has never done an RS version of the A8, but that could change with the introduction of the A9. The A9 will be a two-door coupe based on the A8's platform. The A9 could arrive with an EV drivetrain, but we wouldn't be surprised if a performance-oriented S9 came along with a gas or hybrid drivetrain. We'd like to see Audi go all out with an RS9. This model would go toe-to-toe with the upcoming BMW M8 and the AMG versions of the Mercedes S-Class. Audi has many possible options for a drivetrain, but we'd be happy with any combination that results in over 700 hp in this stunning flagship car.