2026 Audi RS6 confirmed to get a plug-in hybrid electric drivetrain, future RS6 to be fully-electric

Next-gen RS6 will be the last to feature IC engine; all future models of the hot estate to be fully electric.

Audi has confirmed that the fifth-gen RS6 (codenamed C9) will be a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and the sixth-gen will become fully electric. The fourth-gen Audi RS6 (codenamed C8) will remain in production till 2025. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the high performance variant of the Audi A6.

  • Current-gen Audi RS6 gets a 48V mild hybrid system
  • Audi to stop developing new IC engines by 2026

According to a report, Stephan Reil, Audi’s head of Research and Development, confirmed that “of course this [hybridisation] is the way to go, in the next generation, I can tell you it will have more hybridisation.” He added, “This is our way toward fully electrified cars.” However, Reil did not specify the details of the hybrid powertrain.

Reil also mentioned that “the hybrid system, first of all, means there are additional parts that need to be packaged to get into the car. Then, of course, it gives you more possibilities in driving modes, and you can use the electrification on certain weak points of your combustion engine.”

Reil further added that when the third-gen RS6 (codenamed C7) was introduced, CO2 emission norms became stricter and Audi downsized the engine from a V10 to a twin-turbo V8 engine. The German carmaker has previously confirmed that it will stop developing and producing internal combustion engines from 2026. Audi has not yet confirmed the timeline as to when it will begin exclusively selling EVs. It also has plans to introduce 20 new electric models by 2025.

The current RS6 uses a 48V mild-hybrid that is paired to a 4.0-litre twin turbo V8. It is only available as an estate and engine features cylinder-on-demand that can shut off half the cylinder for better fuel economy. It produces 600hp and 800Nm of torque that is sent to all four wheels, with 40/60 split between front and rear axles, through an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Although the latest RS6 is not sold in India, its sister car the RS7 is, and it’s safe to assume that it will follow the same PHEV route. 

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