The upcoming Audi Q8, seen here in concept form, is likely a prime candidate for RS treatment.

Ingolstadt - The Audi Sport division, known for its S and RS models, plans to embrace future trends by introducing electric models from the beginning of the next decade, while also expanding its portfolio of SUV models.

According to Autocar, the division will increase the number of Q derivatives that it offers as the company capitalises on the growing popularity of crossovers and SUVs.

Audi Sport’s SUV portfolio is currently limited to the SQ5 and SQ7 as well as the RS Q3.

It could easily be expanded in future, however, with racier versions of the upcoming Q4 and Q8 models, and perhaps even an SQ2 and an RS Q5 in a bid to fill just about every niche that exists.

Stephan Winkelmann, who heads Audi Sport, told Autocar that expanding its Q line-up would help the company bolster its presence in global markets, particularly in Asia and the Americas, but that this could not come at the expense of the Sport division’s core models.

Those sentiments also apply to the electrification of the Sport range, which will begin around 2020.

The first sporty EV is likely to be based on Audi’s upcoming ‘e-tron’ model that’s due to hit the market in 2018. The coupe version of this vehicle was previewed by the Audi e-tron Sportback Concept that was revealed in Shanghai earlier this year. Audi promises that the production car will have a range of over 500km, making it the company’s first truly useable full electric vehicle.

A performance-oriented electric car would allow Audi to compete with Tesla and Volvo’s new Polestar brand in what could eventually become a hotly contested market.

IOL Motoring