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Andy_Bangle

Audi to Launch Four New RS Models This Year

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To mark the 30th anniversary of its high-performance division Quattro GmbH (founded in October 1983), Audi will launch four new RS models this year, while also promising that future RS cars will be brought to market more quickly.

The four new RS models that will launch this year are the RS6 Avant, RS7 Sportback, RS5 Cabriolet (all made at Quattro’s Neckarsulm facility) and RS Q3, the first SUV to be turned into an RS model. These new four cars will basically double Quattro’s range of RS models.

Until recently, Audi’s strategy was to offer only one RS model at any time to boost sales of a range approaching the end of its life. However, now it is pushing RS as a sub-brand, increasing its range of models. RS fans can rejoice now, as there’s some good news coming their way.

"RS models in the past were delivered in the second half of a car's production cycle, but now we have shortened the development time so we can bring them even closer to the main launch," said Axel Strobek, the Audi board member for finance and organization.

"It means that in future we will bring out our cars no later than two-and-a-half years after the start of the main model production," said Stephan Reil, the head of development for Quattro GmbH. "In the past customers used to have to wait four or five years for new RS models. Who keeps a car like this for five years?"

This is good news indeed for RS enthusiasts, although we were expecting something a bit more special for Quattro GmbH’s 30th anniversary. Something like announcing the Quattro Concept will be built, even in very small numbers. But that car was not meant to be, apparently...

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"In the past customers used to have to wait four or five years for new RS models. Who keeps a car like this for five years?"...

Stephan Reil clearly hasn't done his market research very well... in a recent poll on rs246.com the average time of ownership of a B7 RS4 is between 4 and 5 years (and most intend to keep them for a long time).

One of the attractions of RS models has been their exclusivity, by selling RS models "en masse" as Audi will be doing will devalue this exclusivity and hence devalue the RS sub-brand as a whole. Audi are in great danger of shooting the cash cow that is RS, all in the name of increasing their sales in the short term. As a long term strategy it is most probably going to backfire on Audi.

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Yep I totally agree, and you cannot launch an RS6 and then before its gone on sale start talking about an RS6 Plus

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One model at a time, limited numbers, insanely fast even if not the most dynamically capable is what the RS brand was about. Now the RS Audi's are just as unappealing as every other Audi.

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One of the attractions of RS models has been their exclusivity, by selling RS models "en masse" as Audi will be doing will devalue this exclusivity and hence devalue the RS sub-brand as a whole. Audi are in great danger of shooting the cash cow that is RS, all in the name of increasing their sales in the short term. As a long term strategy it is most probably going to backfire on Audi.

I used to agree. I've changed my mind. Do you recall everyone saying the Boxster would devalue Porsches? They've made shed loads more money since despite them not being as exclusive as they once were. I believe the same will happen with RS models if, and it's a massive IF, they can stand up on there own feet and not depend on exclusiveness. i.e. the question is are they good enough?

From a business point of view I think Audi are going the correct way but it doesn't appeal to the Audi enthusiast who's used to something more exclusive. I think that actually went out the window a while back. I think the change was the B7 RS4. It was then main stream.

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I don't think exclusivity plays any part in an RS purchase, the whole point of the RS range (so owners keep telling us) is the subtlety, i.e. they look just like every other Audi, not really 'exclusive' eh?

More RS cars = more sales for Audi, can't see how it'd put someone off buying a car?

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Do people really buy RS models because they're exclusive? The supposed "limited" run of RS3s - I could have walked into any dealer and ordered one. Same with the all the RS models, there' nothing exclusive about them bar the price. But a 911 costs more and isn't exclusive either so that argument is out of the window.

RS models are just a specification (I was going to say "now" just a specification but I've never viewed them as "special"). Yes they're special in their performance, etc. but the way some people bang on about them it's like they're in a private members club or something.

This statement from Audi basically says; "we realise anyone can buy an M3/4/5/6 or AMG merc whenever they want, we thought we were being clever by delaying the RS cars until the second half of a model's life cycle. Turns out we were wrong and people just bought the alternatives, now we'll sell the RS models earlier, giving people access to them while the model's still desirable (not a run-out special like the RS3) and hopefully getting some trickle-down sales from the Halo effect."

The only people who thought RS models were exclusive were within Audi's marketing department. You want exclusive; try the 50th anniversary 911 model out this year. 50 UK cars, 33 dealers - bunfight!

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Stephan Reil clearly hasn't done his market research very well... in a recent poll on rs246.com the average time of ownership of a B7 RS4 is between 4 and 5 years (and most intend to keep them for a long time).

I suspect that has more to do with the B7 RS4 being a genuinely great car that owners have struggled to replace - especially if they're only looking at the VAG stable. Do the same poll across the RS range and I suspect the average is 2 years at most.

(As far as I can tell, most RS3 owners waited longer for their car than they owned it.)

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Absolutely Garçon.

Ignoring those that financed the feck out of their cars and can't afford to get out of them. My friend has a B7 RS4 and has had it 6 years. He's got itchy feet and nearly pulled the trigger on a new RS4 but as he said, for £45-50k cost to change it doesn't move the game on enough. The car is very accomplished and a performance bargain right now so I can see why people hang onto them.

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Agreed Garcon & Eldavo, lots of B7 RS4 owners are in the same boat.

The B8 has the same engine, merely with twin air intakes rather than one and the redline increased from 8250 to 8500. Its quicker in a drag race with the instantaneous gearchange plus the seven speed DSG gearbox has a shorter 3rd / 4th / 5th / 6th (the B7 has a massively long third and fourth). Its a stunning piece of kit visually, I was drooling over a Sepang with titanium rotors only two hours ago, you know it will turn heads with the paint, box arches and 20s, you know it will corner so hard it will tear your face off, its a B7 turned up to 11.

However its evolution rather than the revolution like the B7 was at the time: In 2006 the B7 was the first of the monster V8 hot rods. However that was seven years ago, BMW and Merc launched their compact V8s soon after, Audi haven't exactly moved the game on this time as mentioned above by others

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Its a stunning piece of kit visually, I was drooling over a Sepang with titanium rotors only two hours ago, you know it will turn heads with the paint, box arches and 20s, you know it will corner so hard it will tear your face off, its a B7 turned up to 11.

There was one at Malton the other week, I walked straight past it and Garçon (the audiphile that he is) pointed it out. I think you need to "do a Booster" Ian and explore life outside of the Audi hype-machine. I just thought it would underwater so hard you'd be tearing hedge off your face.

I've had the opportunity to drive my friend's RS4 on the twisties - full switchable Miltek, carbon air intake, race cats, sorted DRC, etc. It was very composed but ultimately a bit soulless and devoid of much real feedback. He took it to the 'ring and said it was a fat wallowy barge and if they made a towbar to fit he'd have towed the Atom instead.

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Mind you, your 944 is a fat wallowy barge compared to that Atom. :grin:

Visually I quite like the new RS4 because you have to look at it two or three times before realising it isn't a 2.0TDI.

And I don't think this is because RS's have become more bland - rather, it's because every w@nker who buys a 2.0TDI wants to believe they're in an RS. The standard cars have become far more aggressive, not the other way round.

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And I don't think this is because RS's have become more bland - rather, it's because every w@nker who buys a 2.0TDI wants to believe they're in an RS. The standard cars have become far more aggressive, not the other way round.

I'd agree with that, and I'd add that the only reason they spec Quattro on a diesel reps barge is because they think it makes it sporty, there's no other reason why you'd ever need 4wd on a 2.0 diesel?

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Visually I quite like the new RS4 because you have to look at it two or three times before realising it isn't a 2.0TDI.

And I don't think this is because RS's have become more bland - rather, it's because every w@nker who buys a 2.0TDI wants to believe they're in an RS. The standard cars have become far more aggressive, not the other way round.

With the S4 and forthcoming S3 I completely agree with you. With S lines now having aggressive bumpers and styling as you say, the S3 and S4 look no different. The S4 comes with 18s as standard, whereas a 2.0 TDi black edition has 19s as standard. Non Audi fans criticise them being too subtle, but Audi fans / owners love the subtlety. I actually hate the current B8 S4 quad tailpipes, completely pointless on a V6, badge aside its main visual clue the car is actually an S4, I'd rather just have a single pipe each side. The S4 default 18s are S4 unique, but all the 19s can be optioned on S lines. The best way to sum up the S cars is 'no mouth, all trousers'.......

However you cannot seriously pretend the current RS4 [and RS6] look like a 2.0! :roflmao:

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RS3 Q3 FFS?

Honestly what is that all about?

Chelsea tractor on steroids, personally I am completely naffed off with VAG models, as Garcon quite rightly notes, most of us who ordered RS3's in the "Exclusive" colour waited eons to get them from placement of order.

I decided in the end to pass on the second one, as the first one after an 18 month wait was the wrong spec,, when the second eventually turned up, despite the dealer bending over backwards to put a good deal on the table (Which I must compliment them for) I had just lost any enthusiasm or interest in the car.

So what can I order and get into now?

Basically sweet FA, even the new S3 keeps going back for order & delivery, honestly they can just shove it.

RS3 Q3, really?? Gosh can't wait......

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From a business point of view I think Audi are going the correct way.

After boom will inevitably come bust.

There seems to be a recurring theme in this thread that Audi are now making cars that are functional and practical, but no longer have the "I want one" appeal - and that doesn't suggest that their current strategy is a recipe for long term success. I doubt I will ever buy another Audi - I can get all the technology and quality of engineering in other VAG brands, and save shed loads of cash - so just why should I buy an Audi any more? (BTW I don't give a damn about image, so that's not an argument that will win me over).

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I think they are pricing everything up too and still relying on financing / company cars to drive sales.

I am not 'mean' or tight, but how people can justify paying some of the new pricing I just don't know. Even with nearly 0% finance deals that seem to be about at the moment.

Even used is a bit toppy...

Actually, maybe I am mean, or maybe just have one one on the financial stability of this country....

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Makes an 18 month old S4 look like a bargain! You bought one yet...... :P

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I'm not sure you lot will agree. But remember when the B5 RS 4/C5 RS 6 came out? It was a pretty big deal, nowadays an RS model comes out every other week and I don't notice, no limited production, no exclusivity so therefore no 'wow' factor IMO, they slap the RS badge on anything. That has spoiled them for me, maybe I'm just a sucker for marketing. But I really don't get excited about RS Audi models nowadays like I used to when you could only buy one at a time etc... Maybe the models just aren't as appealing anymore and it has nothing to do with how many are made and on sale, feck it, I dunno, but as an RS owner they have lost their appeal with me, big time.

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However you cannot seriously pretend the current RS4 [and RS6] look like a 2.0! :roflmao:

As Eldavo mentioned, we saw a new RS4 at Malton. It was a subtle dark grey, had what looked like the black series alloys, and to 99% of people looking at it would have been indistinguishable from any other A4 Avant. On second glance I noticed the RS front end treatment. But as I say, to me that's a good thing. If I bought one I'd debadge it and go into complete stealth mode.

(It was possibly a bit more obvious from the rear - those tailpipes are fecking huge! :P )

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I'm not sure you lot will agree. But remember when the B5 RS 4/C5 RS 6 came out? It was a pretty big deal......

Yes I do remember those days, one quattro GmbH production line, one model being built at a time. Massively flawed, and nowhere near as complete as say the B7 RS4, but they were very special cars indeed, true bahnstormers.

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They aren't exactly accomplished now either, the B7 seems to have been a one off. The only flaw then was the crap handling vs the equivalent M product, but they were so much more powerful vs the M equivalent that they got away with it. Now, the RS 4/5 have (as near as makes no difference) the same power as the M3, it is the same story with the 1M/RS 3. So, now they don't have a power advantage, and BMW still have the handling edge.

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