Next-Generation Audi RS6 Plug-In Hybrid (C9) Displays Ultra-Wide Look in AI Rendering

Having first landed in 2002, the Audi RS6 doesn’t have as rich of a history as the BMW M5 and the Mercedes-AMG E63. However, unlike its traditional German rivals, every generation of this four-ringed Autobahn express—there have been four to date—was available as a wagon (Avant in Audi talk). Not even the current EV revolution can stop the RS6 train. Sure, the automaker is considering RS versions of the upcoming 2024 A6 e-tron battery-powered sedan and wagon. But the ICE RS6 has been confirmed to soldier on for one more generation, albeit while featuring deeper hybridization.

Audi has vowed to stop introducing new ICE models after 2026 and to only sell EVs after 2033 in most of the world (China may be an exception). Meanwhile, though, the carmaker is directing an important part of its resources to ICE models. And while we are getting one extra generation of combustion models, the constantly tightening emission regulations mean these Audis will feature deeper hybridization hardware compared to the current 48V mild-hybrid setup.

Expect a plug-in hybrid powerplant for the next RS6

Audi has already confirmed a hybrid next-gen (C9) RS6, albeit without being specific about the type of gas-electric powertrain. However, it’s almost a given that the next-gen RS6 will get a PHEV setup. For one, a plug-in hybrid offers the greatest emission reduction benefits, while its added weight (compared to a non-plug-in setup) is something these large RS models can disguise.

Besides, the 2024 BMW M5 G90 has already been spotted testing a PHEV powertrain involving a V8. As for the 2024 Mercedes-AMG E63 W214, this will also sport a PHEV setup—it may inherit the 2023 C63’s F1-style hybridized 2.0L turbo four-cylinder unit. 670 hp and 752 lb-ft? good! four cylinders? bad!

2023 will see Audi launching the said A6 e-tron models on the PPE (Premium Platform Electric) architecture developed with Porsche, which will come to the US for the 2024 model year. As for the next-gen A6 and its RS6 range-topper, the said 2026 ICE deadline is all we have for now.

Regardless, the ICE models will ride on Audi’s upcoming PPC (Premium Platform Combustion). This platform will replace the current MLBevo architecture, which started serving the C8 A6 back in 2018, with the C8 RS6 having entered production in 2020.

The C9 RS6 Avant (wagon)

As far as the body styles are concerned, only the first two RS6 iterations came in both sedan and wagon forms. The current car and its predecessor are station wagon-only affairs. And, given the said splitting of the company’s resources, the future C9 RS6 will probably once again be offered strictly as a wagon.

So you shouldn’t be surprised that the renderings we’ve brought along for today portray the C9 Audi RS6 Avant. We’re dealing with eye candy produced by Midjourney AI, which is why there’s more than one design iteration of the vehicle here.

However, the way in which the user interacts with these AI image generators can impact the final results quite a bit. And, in this case, the one pushing the buttons is James Robbins, Senior surface Designer for Rivian.

Getting back to the real world, since the C8 RS6 Avant marked the badge’s return to the US after a long hiatus, we’re expecting the next-gen C9 RS6 to also be offered in America.



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