Audi isn’t about to let the demise of combustion power kill off its legendary RS6 sedan. The M5 rival will be live on as an EV, and it looks like we might have just spotted an early prototype out on test.
Much like the current RS6 is a high performance take on the regular A6, so the upcoming A6 e-tron electric sedan will get its own RS6 halo model. The A6 EV was previewed last year by Audi’s A6 e-tron Avant concept and will be built around the same PPE electric vehicle platform found under the upcoming Porsche Macan EV and its sister car, Audi’s own Q6 e-tron SUV.
Though the A6 concept was a wagon, a body style that continues to be popular in Europe, the production car will also be available as a liftback sedan, and judging by these images, so will the RS6. This prototype features the same split-headlight arrangement as the wagon concept that means the actual headlamp units are hidden in a darkened bumper recess so that in daylight driving your eye is only drawn to the slim DRLs above. But unlike the square-back wagon concept, this sedan features a sloping rear window that gives the car a sportier look, seemingly without compromising rear headroom.
So what makes us think this heavily disguised test car is anything other than a regular A6 e-tron? It’s the brakes. The zoomed-in image reveals this prototype is packing some huge brake discs, and the ones at the front are fitted with a giant pair of monobloc calipers, each with at least six pistons doing the biting.
Related: Audi Will Unveil An All-Electric RS6 Next Year
And if rumors of a circa 800-hp (811 PS) power output from a bi-motor powertrain are true, the electric RS6 is going to need a serious brake package. That kind of output will make the RS6 the most powerful Audi ever – more powerful even than the RS e-tron GT and R8 V10 supercar – when it goes on sale in 2024.
Naturally, non-RS A6 e-trons won’t be anything like as rapid. Some might come with the 469 hp (476 PS) bi-motor drivetrain seen in the concept, but lower-spec models will likely be offered with a single motor and two-wheel drive. What they’ll all be quick at, however, is charging. The PPE platform’s 800-volt tech will all allow charging speeds of up to 350 kW.