Audi RS6 Avant e-tron Might Debut in 2023

Audi RS6 Avant e-tron Might Debut in 2023

Audi might introduce the RS6 Avant e-tron at the same time as the upcoming A6 e-tron electric sedan.

Earlier in March, Audi announced that it will no longer develop IC engines. Since then, the pace of Audi’s electrification strategy has skyrocketed. Most recently, the Ingolstadt automaker’s all-new 2022 Audi A3 made its stateside debut with a standard MHEV variant. Now, according to a recent Autocar report, the German car manufacturer might soon introduce an all-electric Audi RS6.

Right now, the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT are the only performance electric models in Audi’s arsenal. According to the report, the Audi Sport division is also transitioning into the electric-only future along with the automaker. As a result of this, the company is developing an all-electric performance estate model. The alleged offering might take on the Audi RS6 Avant e-tron moniker.

Back in April, Audi unveiled its A6 e-tron concept. Autocar claims that Audi bosses have almost confirmed that this concept will also lay the foundation for an electric estate version. The report also claims that Audi might launch both offerings at the same time, which means we can expect the battery-electric Audi RS6 Avant e-tron to make its global debut as early as 2023.

Audi RS6 Avant e-tron Might Debut in 2023

Audi RS e-tron GT quattro’s 590 HP and 612 lb-ft all-electric drivetrain might propel the RS6 Avant e-tron

It is also possible that RS6 Avant e-tron and A6 e-tron might share Volkswagen Group’s Premium Platform Electric (PPE) vehicle architecture. The automaker is collaborating with Porsche to develop VW’s premium EV platform. So far, we do not have any information regarding the performance figures of the upcoming estate.

If Audi decides to use RS e-tron GT quattro’s powertrain to propel the RS6 Avant e-tron, then the electric estate might get a 93 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Furthermore, the RS6 Avant e-tron might also get a dual synchronous electric motor setup with a maximum power output of 590 HP (637 HP in boost mode) and 612 lb-ft of peak torque.

Audi wants its electrified product portfolio to be responsible for 40% of its global sales volume by 2025. The automaker will introduce 30 electrified offerings by 2025, out of which 20 models will be battery-only products. The German company will also introduce its final internal combustion model in five years. At the same time, Audi America wants one-third of its portfolio to have some level of electrification.

Image Source: Audi

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Ken Block Hoons RS e-tron GT, Teases ‘Electrickhana’ Video

Ken Block Electrikhana

A new gymkhana-style video from Ken Block is in the works. But first, we get to watch him drive Audis old and new.

Last week, I wrote about how Ken Block’s new partnership with Audi means lots of cool videos are on the way — and the relationship is already paying dividends. According to the clip released this week, the first big project between Ingolstadt and Block will be a video titled Electrickhana, which unless I’m completely delusional, will be a gymkhana-style video using Audi’s latest all-electric hardware, like the RS Q e-tron. But that doesn’t mean we’ll have to wait to see Block flogging some Audis.

Here, we get to see the American rally driver get behind the wheel of the iconic Sport Quattro, and even for someone as accomplished as Block, it’s clear that’s a big deal for him. He’s previously said that watching that car dominate the competition was one of the reasons he became interested in motorsport in the first place, so getting to drive a literal museum piece is about as cool as it gets. Honestly? I’m surprised that we get to see him driving a gas-powered Audi at all, given that his day job is racing for Subaru. Sponsors can get prickly about that kind of thing, you know.

That said, as cool as the old rally machine weapon is, Block babies it a bit — and watching him rip around in the e-tron is more fun. He’s obviously having a blast, and even this little taste proves that if Audi was looking for an ambassador to convince people that going electric doesn’t mean swearing off driving pleasure? It did a great job. Given how choreographed Block’s previous videos were, I’m expecting greatness when Electrickhana drops, and I’m sure that it’ll break the internet.

The behind the scenes stuff is sure to be fascinating too, and I’m looking forward to learning about how the electric vehicles will have to be modified to accommodate Block’s precision, slide-happy style. I’m particularly curious as to how many of the driver aids mere mortals — like yours truly — will be able to defeat on the production models. Not because I think I’d be better without them, of course, but because doing donuts in a closed-off parking lot is one of life’s great joys. Keep your fingers crossed for a rowdy “drift mode” setting…

Photos: Audi

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Audi Grandsphere Debuts at IAA 2021

Audi Grandsphere Debuts at IAA 2021

Even with its impressive 720 HP electric-only powertrain, the futuristic cabin of Audi grandsphere is the star of the show.

The Ingolstadt-based automaker unveiled its grandsphere concept study at the IAA 2021 yesterday. This is the second installment of the three “sphere” concepts that Audi has been working on. The design of grandsphere concept aims to offer the comfort of luxurious private travel. As a result of this, grandsphere gets one of the most futuristic cabins we’ve ever seen. That’s not all, because Level 4 automated driving capability is also part of the package. This means grandsphere can cruise on freeways and maneuver through heavy traffic conditions with minimum human intervention.

A 120 kWh battery pack powers the grandsphere, and according to Audi, the concept can deliver 470 miles of range.  Customers can recharge the massive battery pack from 5% to 80% capacity in just 25 minutes, courtesy of its 800-volt fast-charging capability. Furthermore, the EV gets a dual-motor setup (one on each axle), and the electric-only powertrain produces 720 HP of power and 708 lb-ft of peak torque.

Sharp creases offset grandsphere’s curvaceous bodywork. The front-end is dominated by a flat hexagonal faux grille that lights up and houses the sensors for grandsphere’s autonomous driving system. The lighting units in the headlights are designed to emulate Audi’s four-ring logo. Audi’s Avus concept from the 1990s inspired the design of grandsphere’s gorgeous 23-inch rims.

Audi Grandsphere Debuts at IAA 2021

Futuristic interior space that offers a luxurious onboard experience

Audi grandsphere’s interior is its pièce de résistance. The car’s steering wheel, instrument display, and pedals retract when the car is in autonomous driving mode, to give occupants more cabin space. The car does not have any B-pillars, and the rear doors open backward, which makes it easy to get in and out of the vehicle.

The infotainment system of grandsphere makes large touchscreen units look antiquated. The concept car uses projectors to display images onto the wooden dashboard. Passengers can control the system with hand gestures and eye movements. The EV’s cabin comes equipped with a drinks cooler that slides out of the center console, which also houses a plant.

Audi has confirmed that its production cars will eventually receive the technologies that are debuting in the grandsphere concept study. The grandsphere concept will offer the foundation for Audi’s flagship sedans in the future. The German automaker’s next concept car will be the Audi urbansphere which will premiere sometime next year.

Image Source: Audi

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Audi RS6 vs BMW M550i

Audi RS6 vs BMW M550i

Mat Watson races a BMW 550i against an Audi RS6 in one of CarWow’s recent webisode.

We can always count on Mat Watson from CarWow to bring us some exciting drag races. In one of its most recent webisodes, the YouTube channel pits an Audi RS6 against a BMW M550i. Both contenders were evenly matched, as the 4.4-liter V8 motor in the BMW 550i produces 530 HP of maximum power and around 553 lb-ft of peak torque. The Audi comes equipped with a 600 HP 4.0-liter V8 engine which churns out 590 lb-ft of torque.

Watson was behind the wheel of the BMW 550i shares its TwinPower motor with the lauded BMW M5. Both cars get 8-speed automatic transmissions and all-wheel-drive layouts, but at around 4574 lbs, the Audi is 353 lbs heavier than BMW’s performance sedan. Both cars also come equipped with launch controls, but that did not help the BMW 550i. The BMW 550i completed the quarter-mile in 11.9 seconds, and the quattro equipped Audi RS6 made the same run in just 11.6 seconds.

“This (BMW 550i) kind of felt a little bit soft. It didn’t have the hard kick that you get in that,” said Watson.

Audi RS6 vs BMW M550i

Watson’s Beemer was quicker off the line than the Audi RS6, but the presenter attributed that to his reaction time. The two cars then participated in a rolling drag race traveling at 50 MPH in Comfort mode. The Audi RS6 took the lead straight away, which it maintained till the end of the race and even the track for that matter. Even in Sport mode, the Audi RS6 managed to pull away from Watson’s BMW 550i in a rolling drag race.

This (BMW 550i) picks up pretty nice, not quite as nice as that RS6, confessed Watson. He further added, “he’s (driver in the Audi RS6) just easing ahead but once again not by loads.”
The Audi RS6 was not just quick in a straight line, but also managed to decelerate faster than the 550i in the brake test. In the interest of full disclosure, the Audi RS6 is more expensive than the BMW 550i, but as Mat made evident in the video, you do get a lot more performance for the extra money.

Image Source: CarWow

New vs. Old: Audi e-tron Sportback Races a V12-powered Q7 TDI

New vs. Old: Audi e-tron Sportback Races a V12-powered Q7 TDI

Mat Watson of CarWow drag races an Audi e-tron Sportback against a 2009 Q7 TDI equipped with a 6-liter V12 motor.

In one of CarWow‘s most recent videos, the YouTube channel uses the age-old rivalry between old and new as a parameter to investigate how an Audi e-tron Sportback fares against a first-generation Q7 (facelift model). The latter is propelled by a 6-liter V12 TDI diesel engine which produced 493 HP of maximum power and 738 lb-ft of peak torque in its factory tune.

CarWow’s presenter Mat Watson was quite impressed by the diesel Q7. Watson recently also proclaimed that the Q4e-tron is the best electric SUV on sale. Even though the e-tron Sportback is more powerful than its smaller sibling, it is still no match for the Q7 TDI, when it comes to the overall power output. The all-electric SUV produces 405 HP of power and around 490 lb-ft of torque. So it would seem that a drag race between the two models would favor the internal combustion model.

However, Watson was quick to highlight that “the idea behind this race is to show just how fast these latest electric cars are compared to internal combustion engines.” At 5,390 lbs the Sportback is much lighter than the V12 Q7, which weighs around 5,809 lbs. Thanks to its electric-only powertrain, the Sportback should also accelerate much faster than the Q7 TDI. Unsurprisingly, Watson also shared our opinion. “It could be a very close race. This (e-tron Sportback) will get off the line very very well, not sure how that (V12 Q7 TDI) will get off the line,” said Watson.

New vs. Old: Audi e-tron Sportback Races a V12-powered Q7 TDI

After an underwhelming soundcheck, both cars lined up for the first bout where the Q7 TDI proved to be victorious, on the account of a driver’s error.  Mat’s reaction time cost him the first race. “I held on the brake, and it just didn’t go very well,” explained Watson. Luckily, the drivers agreed to race a couple of more times, and on both occasions, the e-tron Sportback won the race with a quarter-mile time of 13.5 seconds.

The Q7 TDI made up for its losses by beating the e-tron Sportback in back-to-back rolling drag races, but the battery-powered model performed better in brake tests thanks to regenerative braking. Overall, CarWow’s latest webisode offers a thrilling ride and keeps the viewers on their toes throughout the video.

Image Source: CarWow

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