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Audi increases focus on performance cars

Audi has an unprecedented seven RS models now available, plus the R8 supercar and S-badged versions of almost all of its models.

It’s no secret that Australians buy a higher proportion of high-performance models like BMW’s M, Mercedes-Benz’s AMG and Chrysler and Jeep’s SRT models than most markets, and Audi is taking full advantage of this with its Audi Sport range of models. 

With an unprecedented seven RS models now available, the R8 supercar and S-badged versions of almost all of its models, the German brand saw a 172.2 per cent increase in local Audi Sport model sales during the 2013 financial year. This resulted in a total of 1121 units, and a shift from 3 to 7 percent of Audi’s record total local volume of 16,009 units.

During this same period, BMW’s M models dropped 1 percent, and Mercedes’ AMG rose 34.3 per cent, and the total Audi Sport volume sits between BMW M’s 623 units and Mercedes AMG’s 1650 units.

With the subsequent additions of the RS6 Avant, RS5 Cabriolet, S3 Sportback, RSQ3, RS7 Sportback and the upcoming S3 Sedan and S1 hatch, Audi could be a serious threat to AMG’s top-fiddle status.

“We have a renewed focus on Audi Sport, and the central theme of this comes from the 30 years of quattro GmbH last year”  Audi’s Australian boss Andrew Doyle says.

In addition to the new quattro GmbH-developed Audi Sport models and the brand’s ongoing motorsport activities, Australia has become the second market after the UK to adopt the ‘Audi Sport Sales Concept’, which will see dedicated Audi Sport-themed areas established in several Australian dealerships. These ‘shops within a showroom’ will feature décor based around the Audi Sport red rhombus motif, and showcase a range of merchandise, wheels and accessories.

To ensure buyers of RS models appreciate the full breadth of their vehicle’s performance, each will now be invited to participate – free of charge - in the Audi Driver Experience program with driver trainer and ex-Top Gear Australia host Steve Pizzati.

This reporter is on Twitter: @Mal_Flynn