Audi Sport pledges to release six high-performance RS cars by year end

Not all of them will be sold in the United States.

Audi Sport will shift its long-promised model offensive into high gear by firing a salvo of six new cars by the end of 2019. The company published a dark teaser image to preview the upcoming additions to its lineup, and looking at each car's daytime running lights gives us a decent idea of what to expect.

The RS-badged variants of the second-generation Q3 and its swoopier sibling, the Q3 Sportback, are in the blacked-out lineup. Recent spy shots indicate the hot-rodded SUVs wear a more aggressive front end characterized by a model-specific grille and bigger air intakes. While we expect they will be mechanically identical, there's no word yet on what's under the hood. We're still crossing our fingers for an evolution of the last RS Q3's turbocharged, 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, but we don't know whether ever-stricter pollution regulations will allow it to live on.

One of the dark cars is likely the updated RS4, a hot-rodded station wagon not sold in the United States. The rest of the A4 range received a mid-cycle update earlier in 2019, so it stands to reason that the RS4 will go under the knife in the not-too-distant future, too.

Moving up, we know the RS6 Avant and the RS7 are due out soon. They'll slot above the existing S6 and S7 models, which will consequently both get bumped down to mid-range status. Powertrain specifications are a well-kept secret. What's certain is that — like the non-RS variants — the two cars will share many components beneath the sheetmetal. And, you can safely bet at least three boxes on the list of options that Quattro all-wheel drive will come standard.

The RS Q8 engineers have been putting through its paces on and off the track rounds out the portfolio. It will be positioned at the very top of Audi's SUV range when it goes on sale.

While Audi pledged to introduce the six models by the end of 2019, it didn't reveal precisely when it will lift the veil off of each one. It's not unreasonable to assume we'll see a majority of them either at the Frankfurt auto show opening its doors in September, or at the Los Angeles auto show that kicks off in November. Some may be introduced online, or at brand-specific events; automakers are increasingly stepping out of the traditional auto show circuit, and Audi has hosted its own get-togethers to unveil cars in the past.

Not all of the high-performance models pictured in Audi's teaser image will reach the United States. It's safe to wager the RS Q8 and the RS7 will arrive in American showrooms during the 2020 model year. We'll need to admire many of the others from across the pond, however. Audi has notably confirmed the standard Q3 Sportback won't come here, so there's no reason to speculate the firm will make an exception for the RS-badged model.

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