The legendary Audi RS 6 turns 20 in 2022. The model is more emblematic than ever and its sales are a success for the brand. So much so that for the first time in its history it is even sold in the US.
But with its powerful gasoline engine and with the end of the combustion engine scheduled by the EU for 2035, we can ask ourselves what will happen to the Audi RS 6.
The answer for about 10 years from now is inevitable, it will be electric. The brand itself recognizes it, the C10 generation of the RS 6 will be electric. But before reaching that future model, there is still room to devise wild versions. And there will be.
The current Audi RS6 (C8) will remain in production until the end of 2025, before the new C9 generation is introduced. And Audi plans for these three years two new special versions. One of them will be an RS 6 Performance, following the tradition of the RS 6 Plus and RS 6 Performance of previous generations.
In Audi they have not wanted to reveal any data, could a variant of 700 CV be expected? Abt, which has the approval of Audi to prepare its cars and which Audi itself sells at its dealerships in many European markets (except Spain, as always), gets more than 700 hp from the current RS 6 without much difficulty. And up to 800 hp with a little more work.
Without leaving the Volkswagen group, the RS 6 engine is also seen in the Porsche Panamera Turbo S in the 630 hp version and in the Lamborghini Urus in the 650 hp version, for example.
But there will be a second special version, to mark the end of production of the RS 6 C8. However, even less is known about this version. the people of Audi limits itself to insuring that it will be “very special”.
An Audi RS 6 PHEV for 2026, before the electric
As for the new generation of the Audi RS 6, the C9, it will use a powertrain plug-in hybrid with electric motor. Instead of the current model’s 48-volt micro-hybrid system as part of its 600bhp, 800Nm 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbocharged, the next generation will be a straight forward model. PHEV.
“The next generation I can say will have more hybridization,” he explained. Stephan Reil a Wheels. Reil is the current head of R&D for Audi and former director of Audi Sport, as well as having developed the first three generations of the RS 6 and laying the foundations for the current one. “This is our path to fully electrified cars,” he added.
Reil did not expressly speak of a PHEV system, Audi has been clear in its product plan that it would lead to full electrification. After the mild hybrids, the PHEV plug-in hybrids would come and then it would go to full electrification.
Using a PHEV system on an RS 6 raises more questions than using an electric RS 6. With an electric you already know what is there. Namely, power in abundance, a very high weight and a lot of interior space. However, a PHEV and the amount of technology that needs to be packed into a car presents enormous challenges.
You have to free up space for the battery, at least an electric motor and a high-voltage battery. Would that mean the next RS 6 ditches the V8 in favor of a smaller V6? In the case of the RS 4 and Audi RS 5, this was the case. Or they could associate it with the 5-cylinder turbo of the RS 3, as it is compact, powerful and maintains a certain pedigree and historical legitimacy in the brand, not to mention its loudness.
Another question is the integral transmission. Would you keep the current mechanical system or would you leave the drive of one of the axes in the hands of the electric motor? And of course, there is the question of weight due to the battery. In the current state of technology of the VAG group a 13 kWh battery weighs 135 kg.
And in newer PHEVs the trend is to use bigger and bigger batteries. The Porsche Panamera Turno S E-Hybrid equips the same V8 as the RS 6 with a 136 hp electric motor and a battery of almost 18 kWh.
Of course, the use of an electric motor has certain advantages in terms of performance. “It gives you more possibilities in the driving modes, and you can use electrification in certain weak points of your combustion engineReil explained.
Source: Motorpasión by www.motorpasion.com.
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