Audi Sport Boss Hints At RWD Models

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BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63. What do these two have in common except for the mid-size stature and the twin-turbo V8 fury under the hood? Their latest generations have gone all-wheel-drive, because of too much torque. But paradoxically, the premium German automaker that wears all-wheel-drive on its sleeve intends to try something completely different.
Ever since the days of the Ur-Quattro, the peeps over at Audi have been churning out all-wheel-driven performance models. The manufacturer’s RS series, for example, is kept in check exclusively by quattro, from the RS 3 Sportback to the RS 7 Sportback performance, plus the R8 supercar.

So what in the name of all things holy has possessed Audi to change its mind at 180 degrees on how power should be put down to the road? Apparently, it all started with the performance division’s change of name from Quattro GmbH to Audi Sport. Chief executive officer Stephan Winkelmann, the former head honcho of Lamborghini, puts it as follows:

“Quattro is the four-wheel-drive system and is one of the things that made Audi great - but in our opinion was not the right name for the company. I can imagine we can also have cars with rear-wheel drive or two-wheel-drive in the future,” he told Auto Express on the sidelines of the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed. The thing is, Winkelmann refused to say more about the performance division’s plans for the nearest of futures.

The two Audi Sport models that will be unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show are all-wheel-drive affairs, which begs the question, what vehicle in the German automaker’s lineup should go rear-wheel-drive? Yours truly can make a case for the R8, which could ditch quattro and follow the example of the rear-wheel-drive Lamborghini Huracan 580-2.

There’s also talk about Audi ditching the MLB platform (FWD/AWD) for the Porsche-developed MSB vehicle architecture, which is rear-wheel-drive by nature and all-wheel-drive by choice. If the rumor mill is proven true, then yes, Audi Sport will be able to pull off its head honcho’s plan.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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