Audi is a German auto manufacturer that produces many types of luxury and performance vehicles, including Audi sports cars. Audi, which is owned by the Volkswagen Group, is based in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany. Audi passenger cars and Audi sports cars are produced at nine assembly facilities throughout the world. The Audi brand shares many of its design and engineering resources with other Volkswagen Group brands, including performance car manufacturers such as Porsche and Lamborghini. Especially in recent years, Audi sports cars have helped strengthen the reputation of the Audi brand. Since the Volkswagen Group acquired the Audi brand, Audi vehicles have focused on providing a combination of performance and luxury, and Audi’s sports car lineup strives to achieve the same balance.
As a stepping stone to premium Audi sports cars, Audi offers the S Trim model lineup. S models provide larger and more powerful brake systems, performance suspension components for improved handling, factory engine tuning or engine upgrades for more power, distinctive carbon fiber trim kits in the cabin, and exclusive exterior body trim, as well as conspicuous S badging on the cars’ exteriors. All Audi S models come standard with Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system. These performance models are assembled on the same production lines as their respective base models. Though S models used to be treated as a separate model lineup, Audi’s approach to marketing the S models has changed in recent years. Audi does not market S versions as separate models, but rather, as premium trim lines within the regular model hierarchy. Not all Audi models are available as S models. These Audi sports cars are different from Audi “S line” models, which are simply trim packages with performance-inspired aesthetic upgrades.
Audi RS models are a step up from the S models, and they are produced by Audi’s high performance division, quattro GmbH. RS models are even more limited in availability than the S models, but they meet a much higher performance benchmark. The latest technological innovations usually find their way to these Audi sports cars, although the emphasis is on performance, rather than luxury or comfort.
In 2006, a new Audi sports car was introduced, the R8. The Audi R8 was initially released in 2007 in a coupe body style, but in 2009, Audi added the R8 Spyder roadster to the lineup. Both models are assembled at the quattro GmbH facility in Germany. This Audi sports car is a two-seat, longitudinal mid-engine car equipped with the quattro all-wheel-drive system, based on a platform borrowed from the Lamborghini Gallardo. Two engines are offered, a 4.2-liter FSI V8 and a 5.2-liter FSI V10. The Audi R8 is still in production and is sold throughout the world.