The old Audi RS6 was one of Top Gear’s very favourite cars, and we miss the now-discontinued 602bhp bi-turbo V8 wagon dearly. But while we wait patiently for Audi to morph the new, tech-fest A6 into a Quattro-drive uber-estate, power-drunk folks from the RS6’s homeland have had itchy spanner hands. And, erm, circuit board fingers. Is that a thing? We digress. Allow us to introduce you to what happens when there’s no new RS6 in the world.
This pre-facelift Audi RS6 Avant, wearing dubious stickers and some achingly cool aero wheel trims, is the work of famed Audi and VW tuners Abt Sportsline. These are the folks who Audi trusted to develop a run-out special for the old RS6, good for 695bhp and 319kph. Powerful enough? Not for Abt…
Called simply the Abt Audi RS6-E, this is the first-ever hybrid-drive Audi RS car. Inserted directly into the transmission is a booster system in the form of an electric motor. It develops 284bhp – more power than the new Renault Sport Megane’s engine – and a meaty 317Nm.
Now, rather than weighing the already hefty RS6 down with a planet-sized battery to give it mega zero-emission range, Abt went for a modest 13.6kWh battery pack, because the boost function is only available for bursts above 100kph.
Obviously Abt hasn’t left the petrol engine alone either. The 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 has been treated to the company’s proven Abt Power R package, which lifts power from the early RS6’s stock 552bhp to an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera-worrying 718bhp.
Try to picture yourself in the situation where you’d be accelerating flat-out in a 718bhp Audi RS6, with its trick exhaust blaring, and you think “nope, this just isn’t happening quickly enough.” Our tiny mind boggles. At that point, Abt says, if you press what it calls ‘der Magic Button’, combined system power leaps to 1,003bhp and 1291Nm. Yes, what we have here is a family estate car with more poke than the original Bugatti Veyron.
The 0-100kph time on the engine flies by in 3.3 seconds, and then the electric boost comes online. Sadly, Abt hasn’t released any 97-201kph or 0-298kph times, but they’re set to be mighty. Top speed is said to be, (conservatively, we reckon) a claimed 198mph (319kph).
It’s possible than the next official RS6 could use hybrid tech pinched from the Porsche Panamera Turbo S e-Hybrid. Does Abt’s home-brew effort whet your appetite? If not, try saying the same after you’ve flicked to the end of the gallery to ‘enjoy’ Abt’s utterly bizarre promo video. It’s very Europop/vision/trash, and we had to bring it to you. Volume up. If you dare.