Audi May Roll Out RS-Badged Electric Cars And High-Performance Hybrids Soon: Report
Rumor has it that a plug-in hybrid RS4 is also in the works, along with a potentially electric R8.
Audi's performance arm is going all-in on electrification, heading up its lineup with a battery-powered, RS-badged E-Tron GT coming next year if an Autocar report is to be believed.
Audi Sport managing director Julius Seebach told the publication at November's L.A. Auto Show that the company's Tesla Model S fighter would eventually come with three different powertrain options—most likely christened base, S, and RS. Notably, the E-Tron GT's Porsche Taycan platform-mate is also currently offered in three grades: the 522-horsepower 4S, 670-hp Turbo, and 750-hp Turbo S. The jury's still out on whether the three levels of E-Tron GT will use the exact same powertrains with the exact same outputs but it's a pretty strong possibility.
In addition to the RS-badged electric sedan, the automaker will also reportedly come out with an RS version of the E-Tron Sportback crossover. That's the slopey-roofed, "coupe" version of the normal E-Tron. "It's very similar to what you see with the RS Q8," Audi exterior design head Andreas Mindt said. "You have to start with the standard car and build it up."
Electric high-performance won't just be reserved for family-sized sedans and crossovers, however, as a limited-run E-Tron version of the current-gen R8 supercar is reportedly slated for late next year. Rumors claim it could possibly be followed-up in a few years' time by an all-new, third-generation R8 powered by, you guessed it, electricity only.
As for electrified Audi RS cars that will still use some sort of internal combustion, Seebach confirmed that Audi Sport engineers are currently working on plug-in hybrids as well. Autocar says it's "understood" that the first one to be launched will be the next-gen RS4, a car that would mirror and compete directly with Mercedes-AMG's rumored four-cylinder C63 plug-in hybrid.
Audi returned The Drive's request for comment, saying that any news of an RS4 hybrid and electric R8 is speculation. Additionally, a company spokesperson lumped the possibility of RS-branded E-Tron models into the same category.
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