The Audi RS badge will soon migrate to crossovers.Under the new leadership of former Lamborghini head Stephan Winkelmann, Audi's high-performance Audi Sport division is planning a far-reaching expansion of its RS vehicle line.Historically, the RS badge has been reserved for Audi's most extremely passenger car offerings. The lone deviation from that rule thus far has been the RS Q3 crossover. However, going forward, RS crossovers will be the norm rather than the exception.
"We don't have a big lineup," Winkelmann told Car and Driver. "The right cars means having them in segments that are growing, and also segments that are equally distributed in the regions of the world. Therefore a CUV shift is due; we are working on it, and you will see it coming."
Winkelmann is no stranger to go-fast SUVs. While at Lamborghini he championed the Urus SUV, which promises to be the world's fastest utility vehicle when it launches next year. Now he's looking to bring some of that experience to the Audi Sport division.
Winkelmann didn't reveal what CUV models Audi Sport might be working on, but the upcoming Q8 (pictured) is a strong candidate for the RS treatment. The smaller Q5 also seems like a safe bet as it shares its architecture with the already high-performance Porsche Macan. The Q7 has also been rumored for the RS badge.
Audi's new performance SUVs will go toe-to-toe with vehicles like the BMW X5M and Mercedes-AMG GLE63. Best of all, it sounds as if most, if not all, of the Audi RS utility vehicles will be sold in the United States.
Live photos by Ronan Glon.