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Future Audi RS models will have one powertrain in the future, and it’ll be electrified. According to Audi Sport sales and marketing head Rolf Michl in an Autocar interview about the brand’s intentions, that includes mild-hybrids, plug-ins, and full EVs. Why would Audi make such a move, adding electrons to its purest performance models? Simplicity, of course.

Michl told the UK publication that “we want to keep it simple for the customer. We will have one car with one engine.” It doesn’t make sense to offer different powertrains, he concluded, and the company’s electrification efforts will happen “step-by-step.” It’ll be interesting to see if this simplifying philosophy escapes from Audi Sport. Today, though, Audi Sport is still on the first step with just one electrified model in its lineup – the RS6 Avant.

Gallery: 2020 Audi RS6 Avant

In the performance wagon, Audi pairs a 48-volt mild-hybrid system with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that produces 591 horsepower (441 kilowatts) and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) of torque. A sprint to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) takes 3.6 seconds, though its top speed is limited to 155 mph (250 kph). Power routes through the eight-speed Tiptronic transmission through Audi’s full-time Quattro all-wheel-drive system to all four wheels. However, Audi is going further with future electrified models.

Audi’s step-by-step plan includes offering plug-in hybrids and all-electric RS models. Both should arrive before 2023 in the form of the RS4 – the plug-in – and the E-Tron GT RS. Apparently, Audi likes running up the stairs, though enthusiasts shouldn’t fret. Michl said the company’s focus is still “performance and everyday usability.” Electrification has proven beneficial to a car’s performance thanks to the instant torque provided by such powertrains. According to Michl, “Electrified performance can absolutely be emotional." We can't wait to see what that entails, and how the competitors respond.

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