Audi Unveils Sport "Racing" Brand in New York
Volkswagen Group’s Audi luxury brand introduced at the 2017 New York International Auto Show the Audi Sport brand featuring eight performance models geared for the track. Models including the 2018 Audi RS 5 Coupe will reach the U.S. market during the next 24 months. Audi Sport models, which incorporate R and RS variants, will reflect the German premium brand’s motorsports heritage with attention to track-tuned driving dynamics. A few Audi Sport models will begin to reach U.S. showrooms this summer.
Motorsports participation has been a lab for new technologies that are now offered on Audi Sport models, according to an Audi official. The new performance brand, formerly quattro GmbH in Europe and later Audi Quattro with permanent all-wheel drive (AWD), proved its mettle in rallies and on the track. Since 2000, enhancements in engines and lighting systems tested on the track helped Audi earn 13 victories at Le Mans.
Production versions of motorsports and halo R8 and RS 7 models will be stalwarts of the Audi Sport brand. The 2017 R8 V10 Spyder, RS 5 Coupe, and 2018 TT RS will join the new Audi Sport brand. Other models in the stable will include 2017 and 2018 versions of the RS 3, which will launch this summer for the first time in the United States. The RS 5 Coupe, which debuts next year, will be powered by an all-new, 2.9-liter, bi-turbo V-6 engine that makes 450 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft. of torque and can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 3.9 seconds, Audi claims.
In addition, Audi Sport’s new Customer Racing program will feature the Audi R8 LMS GT3 race car that offers a street-legal car that competes in international GT3 racing, such as at Daytona Speedway. Joining the R8 GT3 will be an all-new race car for 2017—the Audi R8 LMS GT4 that is based on a production R8 V10 coupe and will make its racing debut at Germany’s Nürburgring 24-Hour this spring. Audi adds that the new Audi Sport brand will offer new exterior paint, interior materials, and customizing possibilities to personalize these vehicles.
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