Audi RS models to offer only one powertrain

Audi won’t be offering traditional combustion engines in future models.

Audi Sport will only offer one powertrain on individual cars in future, rather than giving buyers the option of pure combustion-engined or electrified powertrains when choosing an RS model.

While sibling brand Volkswagen offers GTI and GTE performance versions of its Golf, both delivering 180kW, Audi Sport sales and marketing boss Rolf Michl has confirmed this won’t be the case for upcoming RS models.

Currently, the only electrified model in the line-up is the RS6 which features a 48v mild hybrid, but plug-in hybrids and electric RS models will arrive in the next couple of years, and will become a crucial part of Audi Sport’s overall range. The first models to arrive will be a plug-in hybrid RS4 and the electric E-tron GT, both due before 2023.

Michl said: “We are well-known for precise portfolio planning and we want to keep it easy for the customer. We will have one car with one engine. It doesn’t make sense to have different variants.

He added: “Maybe there will be different variants for different concepts, whether they are electrified, internal combustion-engined or otherwise, but every model will have a single drivetrain.”

Michl described Audi Sport’s approach to electrification as “step-by-step”. “Audi AG is positioning itself as consistently electric. The first step of electrification is already done with RS6 and there will be fully electric versions with E-tron GT.

“Our main focus is performance and everyday useability. There are brilliant aspects [of electrification] for performance cars such as torque vectoring and amazing cornering speeds. Electrified performance can absolutely be emotional.”

Rachel Burgess

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