Audi Australia has officially launched the Audi Sport performance sub-brand in Australia, uniting its high-performance road cars with its corporate and customer motorsport arms under the one banner for the first time.
Audi’s RS and R8 models now sit under the Audi Sport brand, having previously been the property of Audi’s quattro GmbH subsidiary and separate from Audi's racing and driver training activities.
And in Australia (the second market to launch the Audi Sport sub-brand) several dealerships will soon have their own dedicated Audi Sport Corner in which to park their RS 4s, RS 5s, RS 6s, RS 7s, RS Q3s and R8s, along with Audi Sport merchandise and accessories.
Right now just two dealers have Audi Sport Corners: Audi Centre Melbourne and Audi Centre Doncaster in Vitctoria.Two more dealerships in Melbourne will get the Audi Sport treatment soon, along with six in Sydney and two in Brisbane.
By the end of the year, 15 dealerships will have Audi Sport Corners integrated into their floorplan - along with the specially-trained staff to man those areas.
Audi’s efforts to strengthen the presence of its sporty models will, according to the company, take advantage of strong demand for performance models in Australia compared to other global markets.
Like its compatriots BMW and Mercedes-Benz, a significant percentage of Audi sales in this country are for some of its fastest cars.
“For the last two years around 15 percent of our volume has been made up of these high-end performance models,” said Audi Australia's Managing Director Andrew Doyle.
“There is a real desire here in Australia for the kinds of performance vehicles that Audi produces.
“Australia is in the top ten markets for RS and R8 sales, which makes us a significant market for the Audi brand. I can tell you that for the planning for 2016, we’re very much well within the top five globally.”
In 2014, Audi's S, RS and R8 models accounted for 15.6 percent of overall brand sales in Australia - more than double the previous year’s figure of 7 percent.
This year’s sales are expected to drop slightly to an even 15 percent, however the arrival of the highly-anticipated RS 3 in October should provide a sales boost.
Priced at $78,900, the RS 3 lobs in slightly above the popular Mercedes-AMG A45 in terms of cost and is expected to sell well. For full specifications, head here to read more about the 2016 Audi RS 3.
Crucially, Audi doesn’t expect to encounter the same kind of supply issues that dogged the A45, which saw waiting lists for that model blow out beyond 12 months at their peak.
At $3000 less than the RS Q3, the RS 3 also becomes the most affordable RS model in Australia.
At the opposite end of the scale, the all-new R8 V10 and R8 V10 plus are set to launch in the first half of 2016, with pricing and specifications yet to be determined.
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