The current generation of the RS6 Avant will be retired towards the middle of the decade and its successor should arrive in late 2025 or early 2026.

In an interview with Wheels, former head of Audi Sport and current head of R&D at Audi, Stephan Reil, basically confirmed the new performance estate will be powered by a hybrid powertrain. Additional details are not known, though the way the RS6 Avant will evolve is likely the model’s largest transformation in history so far.

Gallery: Audi RS6 Avant 20th Anniversary Drive

“Of course this [hybridisation] is the way to go, in the next generation I can tell you it will have more hybridisation,” Reil told the publication. “This is our way toward fully electrified cars.” To a certain extent, even today’s RS6 Avant is electrified – the powerful 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 is supported by a mild-hybrid system – but its successor will rely on plug-in hybrid technology.

When the C9-gen Audi RS6 Avant arrives in 2026, it will be the last speedy estate from the company to feature a combustion engine. We don’t know whether there will be a V8 under the bonnet, but Stephan Reil told Wheels its successor will be purely electric. The executive looked back at the evolution of the previous generations of RS6 Avants when speaking about the future models.

“It started about a generation after C6 that CO2 emissions got more and more important. Then on the C7, we had the downsizing from a V10 to V8, we brought in cylinder deactivation, and on the C8 we now have a 48-volt mild hybrid system.”

This year, Audi celebrates the RS6 Avant’s 20th anniversary. Just recently, our team had the chance to explore all RS6 Avant generations and spend a beautiful day in the Canadian Rockies with the speedy wagons. It is very difficult to tell which generation is the best one – we love them all, frankly – but's Senior Editor Brett Evans seems to have a soft spot for the second-gen RS6 with the V10 engine. See more in the video below.