Peter Anderson | Dec 10, 2014

Audi Australia's S, RS and R8 model lines have contributed to a tenth consecutive year of growth for the German brand, with a near tripling of sales for the S and RS models alone.

Up until the end of November, Audi has sold almost 2700 S and RS models, up from 930 for the same period last year.

According to Audi's numbers, S and RS numbers are double that of BMW's M Series and about 100 units ahead of Mercedes' AMG.

Speaking at an event to mark 20 years of the RS line, Audi's head of product planning in Australia, Peter Strudwicke, charted the progress and appeal of the AMG and M rivalling line-up.

"The pinnacle of the regular model range are our RS models. They're completely re-developed for maximum performance. They have their own engineering, their own engines," Mr Strudwicke said.

"They introduce technologies that are often first introduced in RS models and trickle down the range, things like ceramic brakes and dynamic ride control."

RS began life with the original RS 2 in 1994. The RS2 impressed with its 232kW, six-speed manual quattro drivetrain and its 1.5 second dash to 30mph (48km/h) that was bettered only the McLaren F1. Sadly, it was never offered here.

Australia's first RS was the 2000 RS 4 Avant with a 2.7 litre, V6 30-valve twin turbo.

Fifty-one were sold in Australia, followed by the first RS 6 in 2002. With 280kW and 440Nm, it broke the five-second barrier in the dash to 100km/h.

The first RS 6, way back in 2002, had a twin turbo V8 and was the first automatic RS Audi. The five-speed auto took the big sedan to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds and on to 250km/h. Fifty-three were sold.

MORE: Audi S, RS, R8 News & Reviews

The second generation RS 4 arrived in 2006.

"This car more than any other RS model put this car on the map in Australia," Strudwicke said. "I think it's got the potential to be a future classic."

A satisfying 321 left dealers, most of them sedans and Strudwicke says that residual models remain high for the 4.2 litre V8-powered monster.

The R8 came to Australia in 2006, initially with a V8 and then a V10, with a change from single- to dual clutch automatic transmissions and the power climbing to 419kW for its most recent version.

"All up we've sold 379 of these cars to date, which is not bad going for quite a niche supercar."

The 2008 RS 6 was the last car to act as the lone RS model. It landed with a 426kW 5.0 litre twin-turbo V10 to outgun arch rival BMW's naturally aspirated 373kW 5.0 litre V10 in the M5.

The RS range is now much-expanded, starting with the RSQ3, through TT RS, RS 4, RS 5, RS 6, RS 7 and R8, ably supported by diesel-only SQ5.

Andrew Doyle, Managing Director of Audi Australia gave further perspective on the success of the S and RS models, crediting cars like the SQ5 and RS7 for the surge in sales.

Additionally, the first sub-$100,000 RS model, the RSQ3, arrived early in 2014 to help bolster the range.

"We sold more in the first six months of this year than we did in the full year 2013. That's an incredible achievement and we're very proud of that," Mr Doyle said.

"The stand-outs are the SQ5 and the RS7 which both in their respective model sets are the best-selling models."

Audi sales overall are up twenty percent year on year to give the brand a decade of of continuous growth.

A new TT RS will arrive in 2015, and a new RS3 (above) is also expected to appear soon, bringing the RS range to eight cars.

MORE: Audi S, RS, R8 News & Reviews

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