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Audi RS6 (2013) spy video at the Nurburgring

Published: 10 May 2012

Our man at the Nurburgring caught the next-generation Audi RS6 testing in the Green Hell. There's no hiding those oval exhausts, the puffed-up bodykit or swollen arches encircling 20-inch wheels.

Sadly, not much can be heard of the RS6's 542bhp, twin-turbo, direct-injection 4.0 V8 (say that ten times fast) but the car certainly looks speedy and composed. The new engine features cylinder deactivation, turning off half the cylinders to mimic a four-pot when under light loads, but doubtless the Nurburgring makes a poor testing ground for economy runs of this ilk. The new car's lower weight will help emissions too. Most of the pounds were shed thanks to the new A6's lightweight aluminium structure.

The gearbox will be the same eight-speed torque converter automatic shared with the Bentley Continental V8 and Audi S8. A Quattro system driving all four wheels is fitted as standard.

Audi seems to have told the truth when it claimed the last RS6 (2008) could be the most powerful Audi ever produced. Power on the 2013 model is down compared to the previous iteration, which featured a 572bhp twin-turbo V10, but perhaps that decision was made to give Audi a chance to focus on other aspects of the car's development. Driver involvement, we hope; the last car left us feeling a little numb, despite the tower of power under the bonnet.