Audi Sport’s RS lineup has blossomed in recent years to an unprecedented number of members – twelve. From the RS3 to the RS Q8, Ingolstadt’s go-faster division has a plethora of models, varying from sedans and wagons to SUVs and even a convertible. In a new documentary released today, the Four Rings goes behind the scenes of what it takes to transform a normal model into an RS.
The RS-badged cars are heavily tested at the Nürburgring where covering 8,000 kilometers (4,970 miles) equates to the vehicle’s entire life cycle. That’s because the 20.8-kilometer (12.9-mile) course of the North Loop (Nordschleife) with some 170 corners and more than 300 meters (1,000 feet) of elevation change is extremely demanding. More than 80% of the lap course takes place with the accelerator pedal slammed to the floor.
These RS models are tested by Audi Sport not just at the Green Hell, but basically all over the world in some rather grueling conditions. Prototypes have to face the extreme heat of South Africa and the freezing cold of Finland to make sure the production cars will withstand any abuse the owners might put them through.
The documentary also talks about how the design of model is changed from the normal variant to the RS specification. Telltale signs of a flagship Audi Sport include the huge air intakes at the front where the cars also rock a more aggressive interpretation of the singleframe grille. Needless to say, the flared fenders are a signature of all RS models, along with the oval exhaust tips.
With a dozen of RS models on sale, it’s no wonder Audi Sport needs four factories to build them all. The RS3 Sportback, RS3 Sedan, RS4 Avant, RS5 Coupe, and RS5 Sportback are all made in Ingolstadt. The RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback are produced in Neckarsulm, while the RS Q8 is assembled in Bratislava. As for the TT RS, the coupe and roadster are put together in Gyor where the RS Q3 and the RS Q3 Sportback also come alive.
The pinnacle of Audi Sport’s lineup – the R8 – is manufactured at the Böllinger Höfe adjacent to the Neckarsulm plant. It’s also the place where the race car versions of the mid-engined supercar are built and where the fully electric e-tron GT will be assembled starting late 2020.