Audi has pledged to introduce only EVs from 2026 but there's still time for (at least) one more hot ICE model. Even though the RS6 has already received the Performance treatment, a spicier derivative is being tested at the Nürburgring. A spy video gives us four and a half minutes of action with the super estate, which could gain the "GT" suffix according to various reports. The meaner derivative might coincide with a facelift for the standard RS6.
Although you'd be tempted to believe it's more of the same, look closer and there are quite a few changes. There's a new front bumper with reshaped air intakes while the bulging wings/fenders incorporate a vertical vent. At the rear, there's a new beefy spoiler derived from the wild 2020 RS6 GTO concept. Audi seems to have modified the bumper since it's now hosting horizontal reflectors to give the illusion of an even wider car.
2025 Audi RS6 Avant facelift first spy photos
Those massive wheels with a "Y" spoke design appear to be borrowed from the RS6 Performance. While this prototype spotted at the Nordschleife had a full roll cage, surely that won't be the case for the subsequent production model. We're not expecting anything drastic on the inside since dropping the rear seats to save some weight doesn't make sense on an estate. That said, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 sedan did offer a rear seat deletion by opting for the Track Pack.
The exciting sound you're hearing comes from a twin-turbo V8, a 4.0-litre engine already making a generous 621 bhp and 625 pound-feet (850 Newton-metres) of torque in the RS6 Performance. It's unclear how much extra oomph Audi will extract from the RS6 GT (name not confirmed) but we're not expecting a major jump in output.
Audi Sport boss Sebastian Grams has already hinted that a "more extreme" and "even stronger" RS6 is possible. He went on to say it'll have "even more performance, even sharper" before mentioning a new RS model will be released at some point in 2024. It’s not known whether he was talking about the estate or the more potent RS3 Sportback/Saloon that is also in the pipeline with an upgraded inline-five engine.
Both the RS6 GT and spicy RS3 are likely going to be high-priced, low-volume special editions. Logic tells us these will be among the last hot ICE models to carry the Four Rings given Ingolstadt's commitment to EVs from 2026. The beginning of the end for sporty gasoline cars has already been signalled by the discontinuation of the TT RS and R8.