Now that 2019 is soon coming to a close, we’re nearing the end of not just the year but the decade. The twenty-teens will be remembered for a lot of interesting things, spanning everything from social media to movies to politics. However, it was also a huge decade for the automobile. The car industry has made massive changes over the course of these ten years, with Audi being one of the brands to change the most.
Back in 2011, the R8 was still in its first-generation and the only electrified Audi was the almost pathetic A3 e-tron. Now, Audi has two fully-electric cars, with several more on the way, and the R8 is nearing its official end. So let’s take a look at the best/most significant cars of the past decade for Audi. Side note: we’re only talking about cars that debuted between 2010 and now, as some cars may have been on sale during that time but debuted prior.
It’s impossible to keep the Audi e-tron off of this list. Not only is it the brand’s first-ever electric car but it’s a great one. Not often to automotive brands come out of the gate with a new style of car and it be any good. But the e-tron is a genuinely great electric SUV. It’s not perfect by any means; its range isn’t among the best, it’s quite slow and it doesn’t handle very well.
However, it’s a lovely luxury car, is one of the most relaxing and comfortable cars I’ve ever driven and it has some genuinely brilliant electric technology. As an everyday luxury car, regardless of powertrain style, the Audi e-tron is excellent and that’s what makes it so special. It’s not just a good electric car — it’s an excellent luxury car that just so happens to be fully-electric.
AUDI R8 RWS
Prior to the R8 RWS, the only drivetrain options for any Audi were either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The RWS changed that and offered rear-wheel drive in an Audi for the first time in the brand’s history. Not only that but it made an already excellent driving car even better. The original R8 RWS (limited-run, pre-facelift model) was only supposed to be a one-time thing.
However, it was so well-received by journalists and customers alike that Audi decided to continue making it for the facelifted R8. It’s also an excellent recipe for a modern sports car: mid-engine, naturally-aspirated V10 and rear-wheel drive. What’s not to love about that. We may not see many more rear-drive Audis in the future but any that we do see owe a debt to the R8 RWS, which means it must be on this list.
MK3 AUDI TT RS
While the current Audi TT RS isn’t the fastest, most thrilling or purist driving sports car on the market, it’s one of the absolute coolest and one of the best all-around sports cars the brand has ever made. Sure, the standard TT gets mocked a bit for being a “hair-dresser’s” car but the TT RS is a properly special sports car and one that offers supercar performance for far, far less money.
The star of the TT RS is its engine, a 2.5 liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine that not only makes 400 hp but also makes one of the most intoxicating noises of any engine on the market. That engine’s charisma, as well as its ability to rocket the TT RS to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, makes any it car it powers feel infinitely more special. It’s also all-weather capable, thanks to all-wheel drive, is comfortable enough for a daily commute and looks fantastic. So for the price of a decently-equipped base-model Porsche Cayman, you can get a car that’s faster, better looking, more thrilling most of the time and capable of driving all year long. It’s not only one of Audi’s best sports cars at the moment, it’s one of the best of the decade.