11. RS Q3 (SUV and Sportback)
Let’s give Audi Sport a shot right here – it has, by and huge, resisted the temptation to stay an RS badge on each SUV in its lineup. A few of its rivals are much less selective. However the alternative to save lots of much more income from the platform-sharing Q3 – and particularly its turbocharged inline-five – proved irresistible. The end result, after all, owes rather a lot to the aim of its enchantment to the 400hp 2.5-liter engine, and maybe it is value mentioning that if the RS3 actually got here off the stage proper (extra on that later) it the one new option to entry its distinctive magnificence in a family-friendly physique shell. Certain-fire, offspring-scaring traction is assured, however away from the engine bay the often-far compact SUV does not have sufficient appeal to fill a thimble. Final place by a mile.
10. RS5 (Coupe and Sportback)
Technically, Audi nonetheless seems to be promoting the RS5 within the UK – in each three- and five-door codecs, no much less – nevertheless it’s in all probability truthful to say that each variants have dropped off the radar of most of the people . In some methods that is unlucky, because the RS5 is mostly good-looking, effectively appointed and, as standard, very effectively put collectively. However in actuality the mannequin has a protracted historical past of relative anonymity – particularly when in comparison with the equal BMW M automotive. The earlier model was notable solely as the ultimate resting place of the grasping 4.2-liter V8; its substitute, powered by a 2.9-liter turbocharged V6, was denied even that USP. A sufferer of the RS4’s mechanically an identical shadow, sure, but in addition of Audi Sport’s failure to correctly distinguish it as a hanging choice in its personal proper. disgrace
9. RS4 Avant
The place the RS5’s shortcomings appear unlucky, the RS4 qualifies as unforgivable. Having cornered the market on super-fast, all-weather wagons, Audi Sport ought to deal with the flagship like BMW treats the M3 – as one thing too large to fail. Sadly, it offers each impression that the idea has risen to the heavenly B7. In equity to it, the B9 is not inherently unhealthy, it simply suffers from a well-recognized fashionable illness: it feels prefer it was created by a committee that insisted on entering into three instructions without delay. Due to this, regardless of being completely able to going very quick, the RS4 has few enticing qualities – and hardly any angle. As a quick and sensible household automotive, it is completely acceptable. However who desires to pay greater than £67k for a kind of?
8. TT RS (Coupe and Roadster)
It is a mite stunning to nonetheless see the TT RS on the Audi UK web site, as we featured it in final week’s In Memoriam characteristic and have been satisfied it was gone. Regardless, there are two methods to see the highest spec TT: one is essentially regarded for many of its existence – which is nowhere close to as fascinating or nearly as good to drive as a Porsche Cayman or the BMW M2 it was constructed to compete with this. (which is each true and fully legitimate). The second is wanting again at it wanting again from the far aspect of the highway. As a result of there is a sneaking suspicion that with its spectacular (and extremely dependable) engine, idiot-proof dealing with and excellent inside, the RS is perhaps thought of kinder sooner or later. Particularly when Audi does not change it and finally makes the asking worth extra acceptable. We are going to see. In any occasion, the final model can also be one of the best one, so it is obtained going for it too.
7. RS e-tron GT
Actually when you informed us you most popular the concept of a fire-breathing 400hp TT to a really costly electrical automotive, we would perceive the place you are coming from. However Audi’s sports activities automotive has all the time been an instance of automotive model relatively than mechanical substance, and by that measure there isn’t any query which mannequin at the moment ranks increased. The RS e-tron GT is amazingly enjoyable to see in individual – maybe much more so than the images counsel. It makes the carefully associated Porsche Taycan seem like an inexpensive knockoff by comparability. Which makes it doubly annoying (and actually complicated) that the Audi Sport did not make the 646hp flagship GT drive like a Porsche Taycan. It is nonetheless very fast and succesful, after all – nevertheless it lacks the all-court bandwidth of its sibling, to not point out the sensation that you just as the motive force are an integral a part of all of the fuzzy motion. Nonetheless, if you wish to go for a spin, that is the RS automotive to do it.
6. RS7 Sportback
Very like the RS5, the principle accusation that may be leveled on the liftback RS7 is that it did not seize the general public’s creativeness. It certain is difficult to recollect seeing one on the highway. Not like the RS5, this has nothing to do with the relative strengths of the mannequin itself. Maybe the design stays a contact divisive (definitely its proportions don’t click on like these of the present BMW M5) however nobody can doubt the atomic shove of the turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, not least as a result of it’s fully which places out 630hp within the newest Efficiency variant. It does not matter that the RS e-tron GT barely overshadows it on this regard; the V8 offers the RS7 the form of aura that no EV can replicate. There is not a powerfully-built director alive who will instantly perceive the enchantment – nevertheless it’s clear that the automotive’s audience is the wrong way up.
5. RS Q8
Inevitably, it’s the place it’s at. No status producer can do with out a planet-sized, preposterously highly effective SUV, and it is to Audi’s credit score that the RS Q8 is among the many higher ones. The truth is, if it weren’t for the wonderful Bentayga S, the RS Q8 could possibly be thought of a category chief. It achieves this feat by correcting most of the points that plagued the sooner Lamborghini Urus – particularly, it’s totally quick, however not annoyingly so. It makes it – whisper it – fairly enjoyable to drive; principally since you do not count on nuance or suggestions or finesse, you count on planet-crushing, high-riding V8-powered extra. And boy, does the 600hp Q8 ship on that. On the best highway (a abandoned one, with good views) it virtually fools you into considering it is a supersized tarmac rally automotive. After all, it is not, however there’s greater than sufficient levity in these moments to get even probably the most reluctant driver on board.
4. RS6 Avant
Good because the RS Q8 undoubtedly is, we will not but grant an SUV the status of a top-four end – definitely not for lengthy, although. In the mean time, there’s treasured little extra to Audi’s quintessential uberwagon; the RS6 is probably not the primary RS – and should now not dominate the phase prefer it did – nevertheless it stays the go-to quick Audi Avant. With good purpose: the mild-hybrid V8 shared with the RS Q8 ensures epic, all-encompassing, rip-snorting efficiency (with 630hp Efficiency to come back), the four-wheel drive is smarter than ever and, with average spec, it could actually nonetheless slip underneath the radar. Perhaps not as a lot because it was once, however definitely extra secretive than something the Q8 will do. And that is cool. With Audi’s ever-rapid electrification, we’ve not been lengthy with the 4.0-liter RS6. Take advantage of it, as a result of tremendous estates do not come a lot additional.
3. RS3 (Sportback and Saloon)
As soon as upon a time, an RS3 could not mess with the highest half. All of the potential on the planet – a formidable powertrain, chiseled beauty, compact dimensions – is squandered by a lead stability, numb controls, and an unrelenting trip. They are saying the third time’s a appeal, although, and so it proved for Audi’s hyper hatch. The RS3 continues to be very fast, the two.5 turbo nonetheless rocks and it is an ideal measurement, solely now there’s some actual driving involvement on supply too. That is the automotive that ought to all the time be the Audi RS3, impressing each repeat prospects and sizzling hatch lovers on the similar time. Properly, virtually. Few would argue that this technology is a extra fashionable Audi A3 than earlier than, and the filters have additionally robbed the award-winning engine of one thing. That mentioned, a bronze medal regardless of these gripes exhibits simply how good it’s. Patrons agree – each the saloon and hatch proved to be the wildly in style Audi that stopped taking orders on the finish of 2022.
2. RS4 Avant Competitors
Seven locations forward of the usual RS4 ought to present how extremely we consider the limited-edition Competitors, and that is simply from the worldwide launch. The place the non-Compp seems to be like a fast property designed to hit principally arbitrary targets, the run-out variant gives the look of a devoted, small crew sweating the small print to make one of the best automotive they’ll make. Adjustments like a hard and fast steering ratio, three-way adjustable coilovers and recalibrated ABS do not make for a straightforward advertising and marketing win, however they do wonderful issues to the automotive. What was as soon as imprecise and a bit heavy is now direct and interesting, whereas nonetheless retaining a lot of the civility that makes the Audi RS such a pleasing place to be. This is a particular Audi version that boasts no extra energy than standard and wishes nothing, maybe one of the best proof that the Comp is minimize from a special fabric. No surprise the UK’s allocation of 75 models – at £85k every – is spoken for.
1. R8 (Coupe and Spyder)
Properly it ought to be, proper? Certain, Audi has made different indelible marks within the fashionable period of the efficiency automotive, however none have matched its pinnacle of success. Let’s not neglect that the producer got here to the sports activities automotive phase chilly, and set its sights on knocking none aside from the Porsche 911 off its perch. To say that the unique R8 confounded expectations is a wild understatement. It proved that the Audi Sport may do something, and – even higher – it was an enormous hit with prospects, lots of whom have been new to the model. And whereas it is true that the present technology hasn’t reset the bar in an emphatic means, it might be onerous within the twilight years of the combustion to be pessimistic a couple of mid-engined automotive – now obtainable in both 4 or rear-wheel drive – which homes a 200mph-capable V10 spinning at round 9,000rpm. Moreover, the brand new and deeply thrilling GT ensures that the newest R8 will log off with a variant that paints it in the absolute best mild. And as soon as it is gone, Audi Sport won’t ever make something prefer it once more. Greater than sufficient purpose to find what all of the fuss is about earlier than it is too late.