By Dave Sorrendino, August 8, 2022
The Audi A6 Avant is currently the best-looking estate car on the planet. Audi designers nailed the exterior design and they should celebrate and high-five every day for their efforts. Audi engineers on the other hand are sad, sad because of the environmental pressures heaped upon them by political mandates. The Audi RS6 presents an opportunity for engineers to showcase their creative engineering skills. The RS6 is and always will be the pinnacle of Audi’s performance RS brand. The RS brand is about the big raucous V10 or V8, more power than you would ever realistically need, and the weeping scream of the engine note.
Due to environmental legislation, the bravado and chest beating that signified the V10 and V8 era of engines is coming to an end. While the current generation 591bhp RS6 uses a 4.0-litre Twin-Turbo 48-volt mild hybrid, the next generation RS6 will more than likely be plug-in hybrid. The hybrid test mule is currently in development and will form a pathway to a fully electric future in the 2030s.
Audi has not yet revealed powertrain specs or performance details for the next-gen RS6 plug-in hybrid. They could follow the lead set by Mercedes who have down-sized their traditional high-performance sedans from the V8 to a hybrid 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder power unit, as seen with the recent AMG C 63.
Or maybe Audi is developing a mild hybrid V6, either way, the V12, V10 and V8 are being sidelined to become a mere footnote in automotive engineering history.