When it comes to the auto show circuit, Frankfurt’s IAA is likely one of the biggest in the world. It’s certainly the biggest in Europe, and in as much it is always a safe bet as a major newsmaker for the Audi brand. Concept cars, new models, new tech and more are key to Audi’s presence at Frankfurt year-over-year.
Most pertinent launches to Audi’s current business is likely that of the new D5 A8. Though this car sells in far fewer numbers than most of its stablemates, it remains the benchmark for the Audi brand. As a marque boasting some of the highest luxury, some of the best interiors and of course its tech, the A8 has always been Audi’s leader in such capacities for a family of vehicles that come behind it.
Most pertinent likely to the future are Audi’s concept cars. Be it the futuristic steering-wheel-free AICON concept or the more production-looking ELAINE (think Q8), Ingolstadt aims to show that it’s fully prepared to take its place in the electrified and autonomous driving norms that seem set to become an undeniable segment of the automotive market.
Most pertinent to enthusiasts are obviously the performance cars. To that end, Audi Sport GmbH is highly prepared and did not disappoint.
First up is the new RS 4 Avant. This 450-hp grocery hauler features the same V6 biturbo mill fitted in the RS 5 coupe that drops in America by the end of the year. Alas, the RS 4 Avant won’t make it over to the States, which is a real shame for those of the long roof cult.
Next comes the R8 Rear-Wheel Series (RWS). While the name isn’t particularly creative, the idea of making a rear-wheel drive R8 may just be. Yes, Lamborghini has been doing this sort of configuration on its R8 chassis-mate offerings since the advent of the Gallardo Balboni, but for Audi to deviate to rear-wheel drive is something it largely hasn’t done since the days before World War 2. quattro has always been Audi’s mainstay, and that it remains, but automotive purists seeking the dynamics only a rear-wheel drive setup can offer can now do so and also enjoy the packaging of the Audi R8. Even better, this one is bound for America as well.
We’ve assembled a photo gallery from Frankfurt. See it in its entirety below this story.