If you’re of the disposition that the new 592bhp Audi RS 6 is a little too timid, then you quite clearly need a bit of a sit down in a quiet room.
Or so we thought. Audi Sport isn’t known for keeping its ranges slimmed down, and thus in time we’ll get a Performance variant just like before. Last time it added 40bhp to the regular RS 6.
“There is a high demand,” says Audi Sport boss Oliver Hoffman. “We sold the Performance very well before, so maybe we will get one in the future.
“We increased the base model to 600 horsepower, but I know you always want more. And we have to fulfil the demand of our customers.”
In the meantime, though, he’s delighted with the reaction the regular, 3.6sec to 100km/h estate car has got. The word ‘regular’ has rarely seemed such a stretch.
“We are really proud of this car,” he says. “We worked very hard and, in my mind, it is a perfect design, a perfect fit in every detail. We created this segment with the RS6 and it is the icon of RS.”
It’s gone down phenomenally in the US, too. “In the past everyone said you cannot sell a station wagon in the US,” says Hoffman, “but they have gone completely crazy for it.”
Customer demand has led to its more aggressive, widebody appearance, with only the roof, boot lid and front doors shared with stock A6 estates. The new RS 7 has received a similarly butch appearance for the first time, too, and Hoffman confirms it effectively kills off the RS6 sedan. “In markets like China you can sell the car as a limousine, and this is a more progressive interpretation of the limousine design.”
The RS 6 kicks off Audi Sport’s electrification strategy too, with a mild hybrid system that’s the first step on the way to the fully electric e-tron GT arriving in 2020.
“We will present plug-in hybrids in this segment in the future,” he says. “It makes sense with this weight of car, it will complement the performance. With this car we are at the starting point of our launch, though. We are really talking about the next generation of RS models.”
STORY Stephen Dobie