Audi Readying More Extreme Variant above RS 6 performance, Likely RS 7 GTO

Audi revealed the higher-performance RS 6 performance just a few months ago, so recently in fact that it’s just gone on sale in Europe and has yet to drop Stateside (even though it is coming). Now, rumors out of executives on hand at a recent Audi Sport focused event confirm the suspicion of an even hotter RS 6 variant inspired by the RS 6 GTO concept.

Here’s what we know. First up, there’s the RS 6 performance. That car gets unique wheels first seen on the RS 5 competition that has already arrived in the States, though 22-inch diameter versions to fit the bigger and more animated RS 6 and RS 7 performance models. It gets a few more horsepower too, notably 621 bhp based on European figures. Exact U.S. specification has yet to be announced, but expect something similar and maybe with some special Audi exclusive optioned versions to emphasize the special nature of the car as Audi did with 2021’s RS Tribute edition.

At the 40th Anniversary celebration of Audi Sport GmbH, Audi Sport division leader Sebastian Grams dropped hints to CAR Magazine and others that Ingolstadt’s performance division plans to go more extreme. Grams commented, “You can see that we are sharpening our portfolio. We are always trying to take the maximum out of the technology. This is how I challenge my R&D department. We can go even further. We can make the car even stronger, even more performance, even sharper…

“But don’t forget the RS models are used on a daily basis: we are not trying to lose our DNA. An RS model needs to be an all-day car, but it needs to give performance if needed.”

No doubt in part because the R8 is going away, Grams referred to the RS 6 Avant as “the RS model” and “the core product of our portfolio”. To better understand how this might be pushed even further, one need look no further than the 2021 Audi RS 6 GTO concept created by Audi apprentices to celebrate 40 years of the quattro all-wheel drive system.

Our own sources have confirmed the car will definitely take on a more radical GTO-like approach. This means aggressive front and rear bumpers, wheels and more. While other elements such as turbo fan wheels, racing bucket seats and side exhausts are unlikely, the idea is understood.

For us, the main question will be where it fits in regards to the mid-lifecycle product freshening expected for the C8 models. We already know Audi will shift to odd numbers, changing RS 6 to RS 7 with the expected facelift. We also know from recent spy photography that a sedan version with likely hybrid drivetrain is expected. So, will this GTO-inspired variant of the car we know today as RS 6 Avant be an RS 6 or RS 7? Full ICE or hybrid?

We’ll post more as we learn it. In the meantime, below are a few AI renderings we created with the @4Rings.AI account over on Instagram.

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