Nearly 40 years ago – on October 10, 1983 – Audi Sport GmbH, as it’s now known, was founded under the name quattro GmbH. This Audi subsidiary contributes more than ever to the brand’s image with its exclusive models. Invited by Audi France, Roadness had the tremendous privilege of taking part in the Audi Sport Range tests in the Pyrenees.
When Audi Sport GmbH was established as quattro GmbH in 1983 with just a handful of employees, few could have anticipated that vehicles bearing the iconic red rhombus would become benchmarks for high-performance models worldwide. From the compact RS 3 sedan to the supercar R8, and spanning SUVs and various-sized sports wagons, not to mention the first electric RS model, the E-tron GT RS, Audi Sport has left an indelible mark. Initially, the company’s primary concern was to protect the “quattro” name and marketing rights. However, since then, the company has continuously expanded and seized new opportunities.
In 1984, it began selling accessories, offering a complete brand experience with its lifestyle collection, encompassing clothing, luggage, and scale models of its cars. Eleven years later, another significant milestone was reached: since 1995, Audi Sport customers with a taste for the extraordinary could customize their vehicles. Audi exclusive’s extensive range of options and equipment programs has always been a guarantee of technical and visual excellence. One of the most distinctive vehicles was arguably the “Picasso” cabriolet, featuring an interior designed by a world-renowned artist.
One year later, another crucial step in the company’s history followed: quattro GmbH became a registered automobile manufacturer and unveiled the Audi S6 plus, its first standalone model, at the Geneva International Motor Show. In 2007, the first Audi sports car with the four rings, the Audi R8, made its debut, now in its second generation. The GT3 version of the mid-engine sports car also marked the beginning of the customer racing program, which has since expanded to include models like the RS 3 LMS, R8 LMS GT4, and R8 LMS GT2.
To date, vehicles built for Audi Sport racing customers have secured over 400 titles and countless victories worldwide. In 2014, the Audi R8 received a highly specialized production line at the Böllinger Höfe facility, characterized by the combination of a manufacturing plant and a smart factory. In addition to the mid-engine sports car, electrified flagship models, the Audi e-tron GT quattro and Audi RS e-tron GT, are also produced here on a unique production line within the Group. In 2016, quattro GmbH was rebranded as Audi Sport GmbH. The name Audi Sport is rooted in the long and successful tradition of the four rings in motorsport.
Fans can also look forward to celebrations at the headquarters of Audi Sport GmbH in Neckarsulm. The “40 Years of Audi Sport GmbH – Where Fascination Meets Performance” anniversary exhibition will provide an almost complete overview of Audi Sport GmbH’s history starting from June 14. Lastly, another highlight is set for the fall to mark Audi Sport GmbH’s anniversary: a gathering for fans of the red rhombus is scheduled for Saturday, October 14, heading to the Audi Forum Neckarsulm, where Audi Sport GmbH invites visitors to a special day of guided tours.
Audi Sport GmbH was founded forty years ago under the name quattro GmbH. 40 years later, this anniversary is celebrated with a special series of its electric four-door coupe, the Audi RS e-tron GT. Her name ? Called Ice Race Edition, this limited edition of 99 copies for Europe does not bring any technical or technological changes but focuses on aesthetic customization.
The most striking specificity of this Audi RS e-tron GT Ice Race Edition is none other than its exterior livery which combines an exclusive Florett Silver Metallic body color embellished with stickers. The latter combine white areas printed with honeycomb or hatching patterns with contrasting purple elements. A sort of mix between the camouflage outfits of the development prototypes and the competition liveries which dressed the official Audis in competition. Guaranteed exclusivity! We will also note the 21-inch black rims, the black CFRP roof and the tinted windows for a sportier look.
The interior plays on the contrast of black or silver areas – central seat panels, shoulder arches and side reinforcements – in the spirit of the bodywork. The half-leather, half-Alcantara steering wheel receives a silver diamond-colored marker at “noon” in the style of racing cars. Other elements receive the Audi exclusive treatment with diamond silver colored accents while the contrast stitching on the upholstery is purple. Last detail, the MMI interface wallpaper is also specific to this Audi RS e-tron GT Ice Race Edition.
Audi has not communicated the prices of this Audi RS e-tron GT Ice Race Edition but specifies that only 99 examples will be sold in Europe.