Audi RS models to stay quattro, won’t get RWD option

Despite the return of the Audi R8 V10 RWD, Audi Sport said there are no plans to expand the rear-wheel drive offering to the rest of its range. Talks of possible RWD Audi models first surfaced after the renaming of Audi Quattro to Audi Sport in 2016, but company sales and marketing boss Rolf Michl said “quattro is part of our heritage.”

According to Autocar, switching to a rear-wheel drive config will help reduce emissions for the Audi Sport line-up and help the company meet tightening emissions standards. Audi has been incorporating its mild-hybrid systems across the range to drive down emissions, but it looks like quattro AWD is here to stay.

“We have used rear-wheel drive in the latest R8. But normally, quattro is part of our heritage. It means safe, agile and competitive driving. I don’t hear any different views [from people] on this, even with electrified versions in the future. We’ll stay with our approach: quattro is a major part of RS models,” he noted.

Audi RS models to stay quattro, won’t get RWD option

Moving forward, it’s unclear if the next-generation R8 will be a hybrid, or go down the full electric path. Michl said the R8 is “one of the most important cars in our portfolio and for the entire Audi brand. It’s a real brand-shaper. Audi Sport is committed to the R8, and we’re doing everything to get a concept for the future.”

“The R8 shares much with the race car, which proves the competitiveness of the car and a clear commitment, but it has to fit future expectations and is therefore a complex decision,” he added. Currently, word is the next R8 will be fully electric, becoming the second electric Audi Sport model to be introduced after the e-tron GT RS. The GT will debut in the next 12 months.

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