Automotive

Published on July 16th, 2019 | by Subhash Nair

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Audi Celebrates 25 Years of RS Models, Here’s a look Back

It has been a full 25 years since Audi rolled out their first RS model, the RS 2 Avant. Since then Audi Sport GmbH (formerly quattro GmbH) have created an additional 24 models.

Audi’s RS models represent the technical limits of performance and prestige that the company is able to provide without compromising on everyday usability.

25 years ago, the first Audi RS model was launched on the market in the form of the Audi RS 2 Avant, marking the beginning of a success story. With their proximity to motor racing and their exclusiveness, the Audi RS models have always held a particular fascination. To date, Audi Sport GmbH, formerly quattro GmbH, has presented a total of 25 RS models. In 2019, six further product innovations are being presented, of which two are completely new RS models.

To celebrate 25 years, Audi shared 5 milestone models that they wanted to highlight.

1994 Audi RS 2 Avant

In 1994, Audi’s RS 2 Avant debuted, bringing a 315PS five-cylinder engine to begin the RS story. It was the first of many high-performance Audi station wagons and quattro drive proved itself just as useful on the tarmac as it had on dirt, gravel and snow.

1999 Audi RS 4 Avant

5 years later, once Audi had firm nomenclature footing, they launched the RS 4 Avant, which was based on the Typ B5 Audi S4. It was powered by a 2.7-litre V6 biturbo with 5 valves per cylinder. The engine was made in collaboration with Cosworth Technology who helped them extract 380PS out of an engine that once only produced 265PS.

2005 Audi RS 4

The RS 4 was followed up with a new generation in 2005. This time, it came with a high-revving, naturally-aspirated 420PS V8 engine with direct injection. FSI technology debuted in the RS line, later shared with the first generation Audi R8. As well as the latest in quattro all-wheel drive, this RS 4 also featured Dynamic Ride Control dampers, asymmetric dynamic torque distribution. It also remains the only RS car to date to be offered in a Cabriolet body style.

2008 Audi RS 6 Avant

In 2008, the RS 6 Avant introduced a huge new V10 biturbo with 580PS and 650Nm of torque, making it the most powerful Audi ever to be make series production. The V10 motor used weight just 278kg as a result of Audi using an extremely lightweight aluminium alloy crankcase. A motorsport-inspired dry sump lubrication system was employed and that carries over to the R8 today.

2011 Audi RS 3 Sportback

This more recent update is not the most powerful RS car, but is significant nonetheless. The RS 3 Sportback brought a modern version of the inline 5 in and introduced RS-levels of performance to a smaller class of car.

The 50cm engine was short enough for transverse installation, another first for Audi and in spite of its size, it produced a respectable 340PS, and later 367PS in the RS Q3.

To understand Audi’s nomenclature, check out this article.

25 years of RS – Exhibition at the Audi Forum in Neckarsulm
On July 12, 2019, an exhibition opened at the Audi Forum in Neckarsulm to mark the anniversary. Besides the familiar production models, a total of 14 genuine RS rarities are presented. Among them is also the racing car version of the Audi TT RS from 2011 that was developed for the factory-backed commitment at the Nürburgring, the RS 5 DTM race touring car that was triumphant in the 2013 season as well as a prototype of an Audi RS 8 that did not go into production. Further, the exhibition also features an RS 4 Sedan that received a highly exclusive paint finish by the Brazilian pop artist Romero Britto. 

The RS models in chronological order:

  • Audi RS 2 Avant (1994): 2.2-liter five-cylinder turbo, 232 kW (326 metric horsepower)
  • Audi RS 4 Avant (2000): 2.7-liter V6 biturbo, 279 kW (380 metric horsepower)
  • Audi RS 6 Sedan and RS 6 Avant (2002): 4.2-liter V8 biturbo, 331 kW (450 metric horsepower);
  • from 2004 – RS 6 plus, 353 kW (480 metric horsepower), limited to 999 cars
  • Audi RS 4 Sedan (2005), RS 4 Avant (2006), RS 4 Cabriolet (2006):
  • 4.2-liter V8, 309 kW (420 metric horsepower)
  • Audi RS 6 Sedan and RS 6 Avant (2008): 5.0-liter V10 biturbo, 426 kW (580 metric horsepower), 
    from 2010 – RS 6 plus with top speed adjusted to 303 km/h (188.3 mph)
  • Audi TT RS Coupé and TT RS Roadster (2009): 2.5-liter five-cylinder, 250 kW (340 metric horsepower); from 2012 – plus version with 265 kW (360 metric horsepower)
  • Audi RS 5 Coupé (2010) and RS 5 Cabriolet (2012): 4.2-liter V8, 331 kW (450 metric horsepower),
  • Audi RS 3 Sportback (2011): 2.5-liter five-cylinder, 250 kW (340 metric horsepower)
  • Audi RS 4 Avant (2012): 4.2-liter V8, 331 kW (450 metric horsepower)
  • Audi RS Q3 (2013): 2.5-liter five-cylinder, 228 kW (310 metric horsepower); 
    from 2014 – 250 kW (340 metric horsepower); from 2016 – performance version with 270 kW (367 metric horsepower)
  • Audi RS 6 Avant (2013): 4.0-liter V8 biturbo with 412 kW (560 metric horsepower); 
    from 2015 – performance version with 445 kW (605 metric horsepower)
  • Audi RS 7 Sportback (2013): 4.0-liter V8 biturbo with 412 kW (560 metric horsepower); 
    from 2015 – performance version with 445 kW (605 metric horsepower)
  • Audi RS 3 Sportback (2015): 2.5-liter five-cylinder with 270 kW (367 metric horsepower)
  • Audi TT RS Coupé and TT RS Roadster (2016): 2.5-liter five-cylinder with 294 kW 
    (400 metric horsepower)
  • Audi RS 3 Sedan (2017): 2.5-liter five-cylinder with 294 kW (400 metric horsepower)
  • Audi RS 5 Coupé (2017): 2.9-liter V6 biturbo with 331 kW (450 metric horsepower)
  • Audi RS 4 Avant (2017): 2.9-liter V6 biturbo with 331 kW (450 metric horsepower)
  • Audi RS 5 Sportback (2018): 2.9-liter V6 biturbo with 331 kW (450 metric horsepower)

Current Audi Sport GmbH RS models:

  • Audi TT RS Coupé and Roadster
  • Audi RS 3 Sportback and Sedan 
  • Audi RS 4 Avant 
  • Audi RS 5 Coupé 
  • Audi RS 5 Sportback


About the Author

Written work on dsf.my. @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.



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