Early U.S. models included the Audi 50 compact (the forerunner to the Volkswagen Golf), and the Audi 80 and 100 sedans. The company shifted focus to performance with the 1980 introduction of the Audi Quattro turbo coupe, one of the industry's first sports cars to feature permanent AWD. The Quattro brought racing success, winning numerous rally victories throughout the 1980s and cementing the brand's image as makers of true performance vehicles.
Today, Audi offers luxury cars in every segment, from the inexpensive A3 compact hatchback to the R8 lineup of V8 and V10-powered supercars. Some models come standard with FronTrak front-wheel drive, though Audi offers Quattro AWD on every model it sells in the United States. Passenger cars include the compact A3 and A4, the sporty A5 coupe and convertible, the A6 executive sedan along with its sleeker sibling, the A7 hatchback, and the A8 large flagship luxury sedan. Audi also offers the midsize Q5 and larger Q7 SUVs, as well as specialty vehicles like the TT coupe and roadster and world-class R8 sports car.
Several models receive comprehensive performance and visual enhancements from the brand's S-Line division, often employing supercharged V6 engines. The TT and A5 come in even sportier RS variants, representing the top sports car technology Audi has to offer and competes admirably with BMW M and Mercedes-Benz AMG.
The A3 and Q7's efficient TDI turbo-diesel engines have won over scores of buyers, and will come to the rest of the Audi lineup in the next 2 years. A focus on interior quality and technology has set Audi apart of late, with its MMI with Audi Connect navigation and infotainment platform featuring Google Earth maps and a built-in high-speed data connection usable as a WiFi hotspot.