To be or not to be: that is the question
It was recently reported in the media that the Audi A6 in these photos is a test mule for the upcoming Audi A5 Coupe. There were also other reports stating it is a test mule for the upcoming Audi R9 supercar (based on Le Mans Quattro Concept). Well, our sources say it's neither but rather the new RS 6 which still awaits production approval from Audi officials. The previous generation RS 6 received widened wheel arches to accommodate a widened track. This next generation RS 6 is no different. What appears to be a rabid RS 6 foaming at the wheel arches is actually a rough plaster mock-up made to simulate the actual dimensions of the widened fenders. The plaster also serves as a "band-aid" to cover up the exposed edges of the original A6 fender arches that were sawed off to prevent the over sized wheels from rubbing on the inside. Yes, the final version (if produced) will look a little cleaner but it's not "appearance" the Audi engineers are testing but rather suspension/chassis dynamics. Like the recently announced Audi S8 the new RS 6 will receive a V10 engine producing upwards of 600hp and that's not the only thing going upwards. So far price projections put the RS 6 significantly higher than the competition. As a result, Audi brass is contemplating not producing the RS 6 at all. As for any future Audi coupe, there is nothing in the works at this time except for the Audi A4 Cabrio and the new TT which was recently foreshadowed with the Audi Shooting Brake Concept. Despite this, Audi parent company VW announced recently in a statement that a new top mid-class segment model will be produced at the Emden plant (hint - where the Passat is made) starting in 2008. Further leaps of logic lead us to believe that this "new VW coupe" is the source of the Audi A5 rumor.