Audi will only launch electric vehicles from 2026 before ending production of vehicles with combustion engines altogether by 2032. The good ol’ ICE may be on its last legs at the headquarters in Ingolstadt, but the Four Rings are working on a swan song for a high-performance application. Speaking with Autocar, Audi Sport boss Sebastian Grams strongly suggested there’s more power coming from the V8 that goes inside the RS6 Avant.
The super wagon with its twin-turbo 4.0-liter engine already produces a mighty 621 horsepower (463 kilowatts) and 850 Newton-meters (625 pound-feet) of torque in the RS6 and RS7 Performance models launched late last year. When asked whether the German luxury brand is done with the RS6 upgrades, Audi Sport’s head honcho said: “No, we can go more extreme. We can make the car even stronger, even more performance, even sharper.”
He refused to elaborate on what that means, but Audi has already revealed a more hardcore RS6 with this wild GTO concept to celebrate 40 years of Quattro. Autocar speculates a meaner version could be released as early as 2024 considering Grams told the British journalists a combustion-engined RS model will be released sometime next year. However, he might have alluded to a beefier RS3 that’s seemingly in the works as well with an uprated inline-five.
Lest we forget Audi design boss Marc Lichte has already promised the final wave of ICE-powered RS models will be “mind-blowing.” With the TT RS and R8 being retired without direct replacements in sight, the silver lining for enthusiasts will be these stronger RS versions of normal models.
Spy shots have revealed there will be another RS4 Avant but it’ll be renamed since Audi is switching to odd numbers for ICE cars and even numbers for EVs. Yes, as odd as this may sound, that means there will be an RS5 Avant. While its bigger brother is expected to retain the pure ICE formula, the new AMG C63 Estate competitor is switching to a plug-in hybrid setup.