You can tell it’s the RS 6 because of the aggressive front fascia with enlarged intakes, the huge wheels housing carbon-ceramic brake rotors, and the signature Audi Sport oval-shaped exhausts. The test mule also wears makeshift fender flares to hide its wider track. These will be replaced by proper pumped fenders on the production model.
As with the current RS 6, the new one should be offered in regular RS 6 and extreme RS 6 Performance guises.
The regular model is expected to come with 650 horsepower, up from 605 hp in the current car. This will be generated by the Volkswagen Group’s latest 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8.
For the RS 6 Performance, it’s thought output could reach as high as 700 hp thanks to the addition of an electric motor. The plug-in hybrid system would essentially be the one in the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, which in the Porsche produces 680 hp from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine supplemented by an electric motor.
Regardless of the model, drive should be to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive system. Both models should also deliver 0-60 mph times approaching the 3.0-second mark.
The RS 6 is a Motor Authority favorite because of its supercar-rivaling performance coupled with a practical load space (the newest A6 Avant has close to 60 cubic feet with the rear seats folded). Unfortunately, Audi Sport’s decision not to build another RS 6 sedan means we likely won’t ever see the nameplate return to these shores. Instead, we’ll get another generation of the mechanically similar RS 7 hatch.
Look for the new RS 6 Avant to debut in 2019.