Audi made big news amongst performance auto enthusiasts with the introduction of its upcoming RS 6 Avant at the Frankfurt IAA. Alongside the RS 6 Avant was a new A7 Sportback TFSI e 55 quattro, effectively a plug-in hybrid version of the A7 Sportback with 2.0 TFSI and 105 kw / 258.1 lb-ft electric drive. Elsewhere in the hall, Audi’s sister brand revealed the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe, with similar 4.0 TFSI biturbo V8 to the RS 6, and 100 kw hybrid drive system similar to the A7 as the range-topping Cayenne. Given each of these three vehicles utilizes Audi’s latest MLB-Evo architecture set, Audi performance and electric aficionados can’t help but doing the math.
The idea of a plug-in hybrid version of the RS 6 (and perhaps RS 7 and RS Q8 offerings) have been rumored for some time. Likely paired as a later step in the process, it’s easy to imagine a later RS 6 plus, RS 7 plus or RS Q8 plus utilizing a similar hybridized version of the top engine in the range. That the RS 6’s own 4.0 TFSI offers more power (600 hp RS 6 spec > 541 hp Cayenne spec), and the A7 TFSI e 55 quattro’s hybrid drive sports more power ( 105 kw A7 TFSI e spec > 100 kw Cayenne spec), it’s certainly intriguing ton consider an RS 6 plus that uses both of the more powerful units to create a monster of a drivetrain.
Here’s the basic math. Worth noting, we’re not considering this against drivetrain limitations. We’re simply adding the numbers.
RS 6 plus – Potential Calculated Plug-In Hybrid Power
- Horsepower: 441 kw (600 PS) + 105 kw = 546 kw
- Torque: 590 lb-ft +258.1 lb-ft = 848.1 lb-ft.
Cayenne Coupe Turbo S E-Hybrid
- Horsepower: 550 KW
- Torque: 663 lb-ft
Clearly, the devil is in the details of the tuning, but these are interesting numbers to consider. Other numbers should also be noted. The A7 TFSI e 55 quattro has a range of about 25 miles on pure electric power. The Cayenne Coupe Turbo S E-Hybrid will do 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds.
Just where an RS 6 plus would weigh in remains to be seen. All of this is conjecture, and yet the components listed are all in confirmed new models from Audi and Porsche. The idea of a plug-in RS-car is certainly very interesting. The flexibility of having a car with super car performance that can also run pure electric on a short commute harkens in a modern way the groundbreaking flexibility of the original RS2… a product that came from a working relationship between Audi and Porsche. Go figure.