With an aim to rekindle some of the B7 RS4 magic, Audi launched the RS5 coupé in 2010. Powered by the same naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 as the B7, but with mild tweaking to increase power to 444bhp with an all-singing 8500rpm redline, it was only available with a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox. Zero to 62mph was covered in 4.6sec and it had genuine all-weather performance. However, it lacked just a touch of engagement and still felt weighty.
That same year, the first-generation Audi RS3 was hastened into production. With the TT RS’s 2.5-litre five-pot turbocharged engine shoehorned into the bonnet and mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the RS3 proved to be a more than capable performance hatchback. Despite the engine character, everyday usability and practicality, the RS3’s dynamic prowess was dampened by its inert steering and lack of chassis finesse.
In 2012, Quattro GmbH reverted back to its traditional format for the new RS4, launching it in Avant estate form only. The styling was turned up a notch, with steroidal wheel arches, triangular air intakes on the front fascia and large oval-tipped exhausts at the rear, which added up to a wonderfully macho-looking car. It utilised the same 4.2-litre V8 444bhp motor from the RS5 with 0-62mph covered in 4.7sec while being limited to 155mph. An optional extra would allow this to be stretched to 174mph.
That year also saw the debut of the C7 Audi RS6 Avant, with Audi retiring its predecessor’s mighty V10 powerplant in favour of a downsized 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 making 553bhp. Even with the reduced engine capacity, the new RS6 remains quicker than its predecessor – rattling off the 0-62mph sprint in a staggering 3.9sec and passing the quarter-mile mark just three-tenths slower than a Porsche 997 GT2. An RS7, sharing the same drivetrain, would arrive around the same time.