Stephan Winkelmann recently became the head of Audi Sport, previously known as Quattro GmbH, as he left his previous position at Lamborghini. Now that Winkelmann is in charge of Audi’s Sport division, which makes all ‘R’ and ‘RS’ models, we will see a brighter future for the performance sub-brand. Top Gear recently sat down with Winkelmann to discuss the future of Audi Sport.
Most Audi RS products don’t make it to the United States. We’ve had very few RS4s, only one generation of the RS6 and are just now getting the RS3 but only in sedan form. Under the new Audi Sport name, Winkelmann has been in charge of the new Audi TT RS and Audi RS3 Sedan, both cars that will be making it to America. Thankfully, Winkelmann is the man in charge because he’s planning on making even more global Audi RS products. “Today there are cars like the RS6 Avant, which for everybody is the definition of an RS model. But it’s a very European car, and we’re looking at making global products.” he tole Top Gear. “So we have to rethink these things, also. It’s not that I’m saying that we are going to stop doing what we do best, but we have to think twice where we are investing in the future.”
On of the big things Winkelmann told Top Gear was that Audi has actually been thinking about making a raw, hardcore sports car. After seeing the success of the Porsche 911 R, a car with very few electronics, a six-speed manual and only rear-wheel drive, Audi believes that there’s a possible four-ringed vehicle that could appeal to fans. “I can imagine, for example, that we’re going with the mainstream with most of the cars in one direction, but at one point in the future we make a car which is raw. Raw and very basic in terms of technology, a car which is giving you the last kick for the last time, maybe in the history of the automotive business.”
He also commented on his new wicked beard and if it was grown because of life at Audi Sport. “No, I also had it last year! I had it last year for three months. It’s always during the summer because then I get lazy, too lazy to shave. It has nothing to do with my new life!”
Winkelmann seems like a cool guy and someone who has the right vision for the future of the Audi Sport brand. He realizes the core values and how to incorporate them into products that fans will love. We feel confident that he’ll get the job done properly. Plus, he might bring more RS models to North America. For that, we love this guy.