It seems like Audi has forever played second fiddle (actually third in this instance) to its arch rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW. While both Merc and BMW have already marketed more than 2 million vehicles worldwide and north of 300,000 units in the U.S. alone, Audi has yet to reach those figures. The Germans are hoping they’ll be able to do so during MY 2019 or 2020 though, which makes for some interesting propositions when it comes to the 2020 Audi lineup.
A lot of movement within the Audi portfolio is scheduled to be done in the forthcoming years and it would seem that electric cars will benefit the most. The Germans will launch three all-new electric vehicles by 2020 (some of which have already been unveiled) and as many as 12 new models by 2025. They will also update a number of vehicles from within their current lineup which we’ll cover later on.
The German luxury brand has marketed 226,511 vehicles in the U.S. during 2017 and their 2018 figure of 223,323 units is right around their all-time maximum reached in 2017. During the first three quarters of 2018, they had sold 167,420 units, which was a healthy 4 percent increase over the same nine-month period from a year before when they marketed 160,914 cars. However, something went wrong in traditionally the busiest months and Audi failed to capitalize on a solid 2018.
Taking the influx of all-new models 2020 could easily turn out to be the illustrious German automaker’s breakthrough year. 2019 certainly doesn’t look like it judging by its first half, though. We’ll have to wait and see if the former happens, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at which Audi models will be worthy of consideration and which won’t for MY 2020.
What’s Hot in the New 2020 Audi Lineup
07. 2020 R8
Audi’s iconic supercar has appeared on many top 10 lists since it first arrived back in 2006. Currently in its second generation, the R8 Coupe and Spyder alike have undergone a mid-cycle makeover. The German automaker’s halo car has thus received a number of improvements across multiple segments.
For starters, there’s a fresh, more gaping look thanks to revised front and rear ends. The Germans were also expected to introduce a new entry-level model but they went the other way instead. At the moment, the R8 Coupe costs at least $170,000 which is quite an increase from the outgoing V8 model’s sticker of $140,000. The performance version, on the other hand, retails for around $200,000. The Audi R8 Spyder costs between $185,000 and $210,000, with the limited Decennium coupe warranting $215,000 of which only 50 will be available in the U.S. (222 in total).
The R8’s trademark 5.2L V10 engine paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission not only remains the centerpiece of the 2020 R8 lineup, but is now also the only engine available after the optional V8 got axed. That’s the main reason behind the apparent price hike, but in truth, the new Audi R8 V10 models are priced similarly as their predecessors.
Available with either 562 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of twist or 602 ponies and 413 lb-ft in the performance package Audi likes to call “Plus,” the R8 is again exclusively available in Quattro all-wheel drive form.
The recent power bump means that every single model, regardless of your choice of body, is now capable of maxing out at north of 200 mph with the most potent Coupe Plus topping 205 mph.
06. 2020 e-tron GT
After delivering the e-tron SUV for MY 2019, the upmarket Volkswagen Group’s division has been free to turn its attention to the other production version of the e-tron concept vehicle – the e-tron GT sedan – for a while now.
The 2020 Audi e-tron GT shares a lot with the aforementioned e-tron SUV, but instead of focusing on range, the sedan will emphasize performance. It also borrows the Porsche Taycan sedan’s platform and its ultra-fast charging system.
Audi’s take on a performance all-electric sedan thus benefits from the same 800-volt battery system and 350 kW charging which will allow it to fill the battery up to 80 percent in just 20 minutes or so. Based off this information alone, we would argue that the Tesla Model S P100D is in for some worthy competition at long last.
The Audi e-tron SUV sports a 95 kWh battery pack and around 590 horsepower thanks to dual electric motors, while its total range probably won’t exceed 250 miles. The Porsche Taycan, for comparison, squeezes as much as 671 ponies from a similar setup. It also delivers around 200 miles of range in this second most powerful setup.
The upcoming 2020 e-tron GT slots right in between the Audi SUV and Porsche sedan in terms of available power, but its total range will likely suffer, falling below the e-tron SUV’s 250-mile threshold. Whatever happens to be the case, the Volkswagen Group has evidently learned some valuable lessons from the “Dieselgate” scandal. They’re obviously working around the clock to redeem themselves, and we have to say we like what we see.
The e-tron GT will arrive sometime in 2020 and Germans are already knee-deep in its production as evidenced by ongoing works on their Neckarsulm facility where the electric car will be built alongside the R8 sports car.
05. 2020 S3
The third-generation Audi A3/S3 has been around since 2012, prompting the Germans to finally treat their smallest U.S. offering with a long-awaited makeover. The next-gen S3 has been caught testing in a hatchback form which won’t make it stateside, and recently the U.S.-bound sportback model has surfaced as well.
The new Audi S3 gets the same frontal fascia treatment as the flagship fourth-gen A8 introduced a couple of years beforehand. It’s also wider and leaner than the outgoing model, especially thanks to its pronounced rear wheel arches which can’t be missed.
The production model will probably become available sometime during 2020, likely as a 2021 model, with prices starting from around $45,000.
The next-gen Audi A3/S3 will share underpinnings with the new VW Golf which has already been revealed overseas – a few months earlier than the Audi’s subcompact. They’ll also share the same powertrains as they’ve been doing for some time now. In the S3’s instance, that’ll be a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine shared with the Golf GTI.
Outgoing models generated 292 ponies and 280 pound-feet of torque, but the new models could reportedly make as much as 350 horsepower. They could also feature a mild-hybrid system that would boost their fuel economy and provide that extra power when necessary.
The rest of the 2020 S3 innards, including the transmission, are still unknown at the moment. Additional info should follow after one of the upcoming major auto shows.
04. 2020 RS 7
The RS 7 fastback is arguably one of the more exciting upmarket high-performance luxury cars around and it’s just gotten better. Although the RS 7 sportback sedan isn’t able to offer the RS 6 Avant’s superlative cargo space which amounts to almost 60 cubic feet with rear seats folded, it still manages to mimic the wagon’s power output. More on that later, though. Suffice it to say, the new 2020 Audi RS 7 is a much more potent than the outgoing model
The new car also dons a new facelifted frontal and rear fascias, but not many additional major changes have taken place considering the second generation had only debuted for MY 2018.
This is to be one of many future Audi Sport models which are bound to increase in numbers in upcoming years, much like their electric counterparts. The Germans are planning on expanding their performance portfolio to 16 vehicles by 2020 and the RS 7 is one of the most powerful of them all.
The mentioned power comes from company’s 4.0L twin-turbo V8 mill already used in the likes of Lamborghini Urus, Bentley Bentayga, and Porsche Panamera Turbo. The RS 7’s unit, however, sports a 48-volt mild-hybrid system with a belt-driven motor generator and a small lithium-ion battery pack. The new Audi RS 7 squeezes around 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque out of it which enables it to gallop from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.
Accompanying the updated new V8 powerplant are an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic and a Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system. Expect the new Audi RS 7 at some point in 2020 with starting stickers at around $120,000.
03. 2020 A8 Horch
Last time a Horch car was still in mass production, the world was largely at war. Winston Churchill had just taken the reign as a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for the first time, while Franklin D. Roosevelt had won his unprecedented third term as president of the United States. Considering the year was 1940, you’re excused if Horch sounds just like another random German surname.
August Horch was anything but a random German, though. He founded both Horch and Audi (after being ousted from his namesake company) and went full circle after being offered a position in the Auto Union board. Auto Union, if you didn’t know, is the predecessor to modern-day Audi and was established in 1932 by merging of four German automakers including DKW, Wanderer, Horch, and Audi.
Horch cars were always a level or two above Audi, though. Much like Cadillac and Buick, or better yet, Maybach and Mercedes-Benz. This is exactly why the Germans are planning on reviving the Horch brand as Audi has never been considered as premium an automaker as its Stuttgart-based rival, but they sure have closed the gap in recent decades and this will help too.
Enter the new Audi A8 Horch – an ultra-luxury upcoming flagship sedan which is poised to take on the Mercedes-Maybach S Class. It’ll be built on a long-wheelbase A8 chassis and, naturally, fitted with one of the largest engines the Volkswagen Group has to offer at this moment.
This might mean we’ll once again see an Audi with a W12 engine under the hood – exciting news for the Americans as we’ve yet to see this combination stateside. The company’s 6.0L twin-turbo unit is currently detuned to 585 horsepower in A8 models available overseas, but the luxury U.S. version would surely be set free and available with much more than that – probably even a full 626 horsepower like it makes in Bentley models.
It would also be the last Audi with this particular cylinder configuration as the four ring company is looking to establish itself as more environmentally-oriented in the future. If the mighty W12 doesn’t make it, fear not. The Germans still have a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 which can generate even more than the venerable W12 when properly configured.
Expect the A8 Horch’s prices to land in the mid-to-high $100k region depending on chosen technology and luxury packages, which should be abundant. Exact arrival date is still unknown and as time passes it looks more and more certain it won’t make it in time for model year 2020 but might just still make it during calendar year 2020.
02. 2020 RS5
The RS5 finally arrived at U.S. dealerships during MY 2019 and it’s safe to say it’ll remain one of the coolest Audi models for years to come. The stylish sports coupe offers everything you might expect from it, and more. It’s sexy, powerful, and above all, comfortable. After the 2020 facelift, it’s now even sexier. However, the updated look is only for European models at this moment, but it should migrate westwards in no time.
The RS5 directly competes with the BMW M4 and Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 coupe while leaving both in the dust and requiring less money to begin with. Of course, both of its competitors can be outfitted with additional performance packages, but that’ll only raise their price tags further and widen the gap correspondingly.
The RS5 offers a blistering 3.7-second 0 to 60 mph acceleration for just south of $70,000 and that’s something neither of its rivals can boast. Although its donor car – the A5’s current generation – debuted back in 2016, the current models ride on an updated MLB platform.
The new RS5 also gets an updated engine. Actually, it received a completely new 2.9L twin-turbo V6 mill which replaced a larger naturally aspirated 4.2L V8. At 444 horsepower, the final power output remains unchanged, but the new engine dramatically impacts the torque curve. Instead of the naturally aspirated engine’s 317 lb-ft, the twin-turbo now delivers 443 pound-feet of rotational force.
Needless to say, both the power and torque peaks arrive much earlier with the new engine as well. Transmission is also new. Instead of a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the new RS5 sports an 8-speed ZF unit. The Quattro all-wheel drive system remains mandatory in the new 2-door coupe and so does torque-vectoring sport differential.
There’s also an option to upgrade the RS5’s regular brakes with larger carbon-ceramic units – alongside a number of other features – at extra cost, of course. However, as mentioned already – even without them, the RS5 is a quicker car than its direct rivals.
01. 2020 RS Q8
The range-topping Q8 SUV only arrived recently, but the Germans are already working on not one, but two performance versions of the car. You guessed it – we’re talking about the SQ8 and RS Q8. The latter of the two is set to become the most potent Audi crossover in existence and one of 16 future Audi Sport models bound to arrive by 2020.
The performance version of the full-size three-row Q8 SUV uses the same underpinnings as the regular model, only with an alternatively tuned suspension. Larger disks also poke the eyes from behind specially-designed wheels, whereas Audi Sport’s signature large oval exhausts are supposed to serve as a more potent exhaust system’s final piece.
The Germans will pit the RS Q8 against the likes of BMW X6 M, Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63, and Range Rover Sport SVR with prices reflecting that fact and likely starting from somewhere around the $120,000 mark.
While the regular Q8 is using a 3.0L twin-turbo V6, and SQ8 might come with an uptuned version of the same or similar engine, the 2020 RS Q8 gets a full cylinder treatment thanks to a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 mill. In Europe, it generates as much as 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of twist. It’s paired exclusively with an 8-speed automatic transmission which routes all that power to all four wheels.
What’s Not in the New 2020 Audi Lineup
02. 2020 TT
The third-generation TT coupe and roadster was introduced to the U.S. market back in 2016, although its global production started a year before. In 2020, Audi’s dedicated 2-door is a venerable sports car – opposite to what its character is supposed to be about.
TT’s sales have been appalling of late with only 1,289 units moved in the U.S. during 2018. With no changes whatsoever for MY 2020, this trend is expected to remain in place for considerable time.
Although the third-generation will continue for a while beyond MY 2020, the quality of Audi’s coupe and roadster likely won’t be the same. Simple cosmetic changes won’t hide the fact the TT is currently one of the oldest Audi models offered in the U.S. despite being introduced not that long ago. There are simply no old models within the Audi lineup at the moment, and there’ll be even fewer of them in a year or two.
The Audi TT can be obtained in all three of the automaker’s performance ranges, but only if you’re shopping for a coupe. The roadster can only be had in the mildest of packages. The regular TT and middle-ground TTS coupes both use the same 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with either 220 hp or 292 hp respectively. The range-topping TT RS, on the other hand, gets a beefier 2.5L turbocharged inline-five mill for a hefty 400 hp output.
Prices remain mostly in place, with coupes ranging from around $45,000 to $66,000, and the TT convertible warranting close to $49,000.
01. 2020 Q7
Introduced back in late 2015, the second-generation Q7 is another one of Audi’s senior models. For MY 2020, however, it receives a due facelift. Still, the three-row SUV will be one of the oldest Audi vehicles by then which doesn’t work in its favor, despite being one of the better options in its class on the U.S. market.
The mentioned third row was never meant for adults, especially larger ones, and the Q7’s cargo room isn’t any better in that respect. The new frontal fascia and tail-lights on the outside alongside minor design tweaks and new materials on the inside won’t fix that.
The 2020 Q7 mostly retains its current price range with the entry-level models now starting from $62,000 and the top Prestige units requiring another $10,000. New for 2020 is the 4-cylinder powered Q7 which will arrive later in 2020 and will undercut the current base models by a few thousands.
The 2020 Audi Q7 gets a new 3.0L turbocharged V6 mill with 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque – a 2 hp and 44 lb-ft more than what the outgoing models used to make. Paired with a mandatory eight-speed gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive, the new turbo also improves upon the outgoing model’s fuel economy (by 2 mpg city and 5 mpg highway). The upcoming 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder’s specs still haven’t been disclosed.
All in all, the Audi Q7 is commendable in most segments and one of the best available options in its class, but could still benefit from more substantial improvements which would arguably put it atop its class.