► Audi RS7 test mule spotted
► Will go plug-in hybrid for new generation
► Not expected before 2025
Audi is deep in development work for its next-generation performance executive car, moving from being named the RS6 to the RS7.
Development mules have been spotted testing, wearing modified A6 saloon bodywork with bodged wheelarches and large twin exhaust pipes cutting through the rear bumper – a tell-tale sign of an RS model under Audi’s usual design strategy.
As for powertrain specifications, few are known. While we know it will be a plug-in hybrid model, there’s still little evidence to suggest whether the new RS7 will use a V8 or downsize its combustion engine (like Mercedes-AMG has done with its latest C63).
And that new name is part of Audi’s future tinkering of its model nomenclature. Audi boss, Markus Duesmann, has reportedly confirmed that even-numbered Audis will be electric when the next generation arrives, while odd-numbered ones will still feature engines for the foreseeable future.
Makes sense when there’s already a Q4 e-Tron and Q8 e-tron on sale, and it leaves room for the A6 e-tron saloon and estate to arrive at a later date – as well as the upcoming RS6 e-Tron we scooped in 2022.
Audi will naturally continue to keep fighting BMW’s M5 (of which the new generation is due in 2025) and an AMG version of Merc’s latest E-Class is due within the next year or so.