► Audi’s RS division to feature EVs
► Next RS6 Avant could go EV from 2025
► PPE platform capable of super-powered estate
Audi is planning for its next-generation RS6 to go totally electric using its new PPE platform. It seems there is still room for hardcore RS models from Audi, even if Ingolstadt’s going electric. But of course there would be – the brand’s first RS-branded electric car is the super-powered RS e-Tron GT.
But, as Audi’s electric car offering grows, the Audi Sport arm will take full advantage of electric powertrains – including legends like the RS6.
Audi RS6 e-Tron: what will it look like?
We’ve seen the RS6 e-Tron in testing – in sedan form and with new digital wing mirrors – and even with the camouflage, it looks a lot like the previously shown A6 Avant e-Tron concept. That makes sense, because the production estate coming 2024 is looking ‘around 90 per cent’ like the picture below, according to Audi designer Wolf Seebers.
The RS6 e-Tron is coming in sedan form but Audi still has confidence in offering estate cars too, despite signals from the likes of Mercedes that wagons are not long for this world due to shrinking demand.
Expect the RS6 Avant e-Tron to feature a lot of the A6 Avant e-Tron’s design cues, but with an RS twist – black trimmings around the blanked-off ‘Singleframe’ grille, for example, and even more bulbous wheel arches.
Audi RS6 Avant e-Tron: under the skin
Beneath the muscular bodywork will be Audi’s much-mooted PPE platform, underpinning a big variety of future electric cars from the next-generation A4 saloon and above. It’s flexible, with an 800-volt architecture, and can accommodate massive batteries, with claims of 435-mile range and a sub four-second 0-62mph time for the standard A6 Avant e-Tron.
‘The PPE platform offers us plenty of performance to realise such an RS6,’ says A6 marketing boss Niko Martens. ‘We have the most talented designers to give you the optical look for one, too, so you’ll have to wait until that surprise is sprung on you.’
Expect the RS6 Avant e-Tron to build on the performance of the regular Avant e-Tron. We estimate the RS6 Avant e-Tron could have as much as 800bhp to take on the likes of BMW’s all-electric M5 that’s due in 2024.
And, much like BMW, Audi’s expected to play it safe by running a combustion engine RS6 alongside the e-Tron version for a while, much like the upcoming A6 e-Tron and its Avant sibling will do with the regular A6. ‘I mean, why not?’ replies Martens. ‘Sportiness is independent of the powertrain concept. On the contrary, with electric cars you can have an even sportier possibility.’
Audi RS6 Avant e-Tron: release date
Audi’s A6 e-Tron is planned in 2023, and its Avant sibling is due in 2024. Expect the RS6 Avant e-Tron to round out the range from 2025 onwards.