Even though it feels like every other new model launched by Audi doesn't have a combustion engine, the ICE is not dead yet in Ingolstadt. The Four Rings still have plans to launch conventionally powered models, and better yet, some of them will benefit from the full-fat RS treatment. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2023, Audi Sport GmbH, the company known until 2016 as Quattro GmbH, is working on several gasoline-fueled performance cars.
The disclosure was made by Head of Audi Design Marc Lichte in an extended interview published on the company's official media site. He explained that nearly all future RS-badged cars are basically going to ride on just two platforms: Premium Platform Electric (PPE) for EVs and Premium Platform Combustion (PPC) for ICEs. He didn't go into any other details about the latter, but logic tells us he was referring to RS variants of the larger cars that currently sit on the MLB architecture.
2025 Audi RS6 Avant facelift first spy photos
While the TT RS and R8 are sadly going away, there's still life in the ol' gasoline engine for a final round of "old-school" RS models. Spy shots have revealed a hotter RS6 Avant is in the works and will be joined by a next-gen RS4 Avant that will transition to the RS5 Avant moniker. There should also be another RS5 Sportback along with a larger RS7 Sportback.
Audi recently updated the Q8 and SQ8, so it's only a matter of time before the RS Q8 will get a nip and tuck as well. The next-gen Q5 could finally get the long overdue RS variant for the first time, although nothing is official yet. All these models sit on the MLB architecture the Volkswagen Group has been using since 2012. It also underpins the VW Touareg, Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Cayenne, and Bentley Bentayga, among other models.
Earlier this year, Audi Sport boss Sebastian Grams suggested the five-cylinder engine could go out with a bang in a more potent RS3. The turbocharged 2.5-liter unit currently makes 401 hp in the United States and 394 hp in Europe, but more power could be on the way for the facelifted RS3. It’s unclear whether the hatchback and/or sedan will receive the extra oomph. Lest we forget the RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback are still around, sharing the MQB platform with the RS3s.
As exciting as the near future sounds, the days are numbered for sporty Audi models that burn gasoline. The Ingolstadt-based automaker has already announced it will launch its final ICE-powered models in 2025, with all product launches from 2026 to be EVs. By 2033, it wants to end production of gasoline/diesel vehicles altogether to go purely electric.