The <br/>Rhombus<br/>Rises
The division now known as Audi Sport 
articulates a mission of artful power.
You can almost hear the rev when Stephan Winkelmann said by means of introduction, “Motorsport is the DNA of Audi Sport.”

With those words spoken at the Paris Motor Show, the flag had been waved. Audi Sport, as an official entity, was off and racing.

Sure, Audi Sport has always had cachet: one associated with power, prestige and the iconic red rhombus. Now it’s associated with something else—its own division at Audi, replacing “quattro GmbH,” the previous name of the performance vehicle division.

This renaming brings with it a new energy and purpose, signaling not only our commitment to true road and track performance—but also letting American sport enthusiasts anticipate what is on the way. Audi Sport promises to bring a larger lineup to our shores in the next several years. In addition to the current Audi R8 and RS models, there will be an all-new RS 3, a revamped RS 7 and possibly an S8 plus that will fall under the performance division. We were promised that this is just the start.
Accelerating from Bologna to Neckarsulm
While the change wasn’t announced until early October 2016, the seeds were planted in February, when Winkelmann came to Audi from Lamborghini, our Bologna, Italy-based supercar brand sibling, where he served as President and CEO since early 2005. (Lamborghini is a subsidiary of Audi under the VW group of companies.)

While there, Winkelmann helped spur record sales by reinvigorating the Italian brand, expanding its reach and helping develop lightweight automotive breakthroughs in construction and innovative carbon-fiber technologies.

His Audi Sport division will remain in Neckarsulm, where it will produce an expanded roster of RS, and potentially R, models.
Leading with a rocket launch
The first new RS model Audi Sport produced to bring to market in the U.S. this summer is the Audi RS 3 Sedan, which Winkelmann introduced in Paris.

The first response when a compact, high-powered car is introduced seems to always be “It’s a rocket.” Well…in this case, it feels apt.
Powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine, this will be one of the most powerful engines in the segment—beating out the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 and BMW M2 on power numbers, producing 400 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque.

The torque is particularly ferocious between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm, leading to outstanding tractive power. Coupled with its 0–62 time that comes in 4.1 seconds, this will almost certainly come in handy.

The car has a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox and a standard quattro® all-wheel drive system, along with the available sport exhaust system and Audi drive select, allowing you to choose between Auto, Dynamic or Comfort modes to suit your style.

The Audi RS 3 Sedan offers improved handling via the four-link rear suspension. The new sedan also boasts improved aerodynamics, larger air intakes and new bumpers with a skirt for the front and a diffuser for the rear. Two unique colors will be offered as well: Catalunya Red and Nardo Gray.
“Motorsport is the DNA of Audi Sport.”
The other RS 3
Strictly speaking, there were two all-new RS 3 models introduced in Paris. One will thrill drivers on tracks and roads. The other was built to win hardware. It’s the Audi RS 3 LMS variant designed to put Audi Sport in the winner’s circle in its 2017 track debut.

It’s the motorsport commitment that provides the third pillar of mission for Audi Sport after exclusivity and performance. Winkelmann sees great things in the future for the RS 3 LMS.
The latest victory
The Audi Sport momentum continued from Paris when the 2016 DTM finale in Hockenheim, Germany, decisively broke our way.

Audi secured two of the three DTM titles at the Hockenheimring in mid-October, which gave them the DTM manufacturers’ championship for the third time, following wins in 2004 and 2014. For good measure, it also made the Audi Sport Team ABT Sportsline the teams’ champion for the fourth time.
The final tally for the the manufacturers’ classification gave Audi 700 points, trailed by BMW with 647 points and Mercedes-Benz with 471 points. Audi Sport finished the season having clinched ten victories in 18 races, with the Audi RS 5 DTM being our most successful car of the season.

The momentum and successes resonated at the U.S. level, too: We won the manufacturer’s championship in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with our R8 LMS. This is the biggest series that we compete in stateside and the first time that Audi won both the OEM championship and the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup with the R8. It also serves notice of what a committed Audi Sport division can produce.

On to 2017. As everything else with Audi Sport, time will go fast.