Audi insists there's a place in this SUV-obsessed world for a high-performance estate. Depending on where you live, the Four Rings will happily sell you an RS4 or RS6 with a long roof today, or you can wait until the speedy estate cars are updated. The former has been confirmed to get a next generation while the latter is preparing for a mid-cycle revision. This RS6 is more than just a facelifted version since we believe it's a hardcore derivative.

It may look more of the same, but as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. Hiding in plain sight are vertical air intakes on the front wings/fenders that you don't get on the regular RS6 Avant. It looks as though the Ingolstadt-based luxury marque has also changed the shape of the front air intakes while the spoiler lip has a new look. At the rear, the diffuser is clearly different judging by the three vertical fins flanked by the dual oval exhaust tips.

Audi RS6 Avant "GT" spy photos

We are also noticing what looks like an Audi Sport decal on the rear doors. The sticker probably extends onto the wings/fenders with a red graphic to mimic the RS6 GTO concept unveiled in late 2020. As a matter of fact, the prototype's chunky roof spoiler seems to be taken from that one-off super estate. A mirrored version of the Audi Sport’s three-colour motif seems to be applied to the front of the car as well judging by the exposed black section on the doors. The RS6 GTO had the same layout, albeit the graphics were different.

Tentatively called the RS6 GT, the spicy estate has horizontal red reflectors above the exhaust tips whereas the regular model has vertical ones mounted at the corners of the bumper. The wheels are impressively large for a prototype that rides on winter tyres. We're getting the impression it sits even lower to the ground than the RS6 Performance, although don't take our word for it since it might be an illusion.

Perhaps Audi Sport will massage the twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine to extract more than the 621 bhp and 625 pound-feet (850 Newton-metres) available in today's RS6 Performance. Audi Sport boss Sebastian Grams has hinted at more oomph by saying the RS6 could get a "more extreme" and "even stronger" variant that would be "even sharper."

Expect to see the beefy estate break cover at some point in 2024.

If you don't remember the RS6 GTO mentioned earlier, we've attached a gallery at the bottom of this article. That wild build inspired by the 1989 90 Quattro IMSA GTO race car even had a side exhaust, which sadly doesn't seem to be the case here. It also doesn't have those wicked white wheel covers.

Gallery: Audi RS6 GTO concept