As a car that’ll happily give a supercar some bother in a straight line drag race, the outgoing Audi RS6 is something you might describe as sufficiently fast. However, German tuning company ABT Sportsline clearly thinks it needs some help in the speed department, and its latest modified RS6 adds power in a very forward-thinking way.
It’s called the RS6-E, and its starting point is the existing ‘ABT Power R’ performance package that ups the internally-combusted fury to 720bhp. The kit consists of an ‘ABT Engine Control’ unit or ‘AEC’, and a new exhaust system. But the RS6-E doesn’t stop there.
The car has also been fitted with an electric motor in the transmission tunnel, which sends its power to the rear axle. It brings an additional 288bhp and 157lb ft of torque to the party, giving a brilliantly absurd total system output of 1004bhp and 952lb ft of twist. That’s around the same as the original Bugatti Veyron developed from its quad-turbo W16. Automotive progress can be marvelous at times.
If you’re thinking the RS6-E is going to be an utter savage off-the-line thanks to the joys of electric motors and their instant torque deliveries, we regret to inform that the car doesn’t quite work like that. Curiously, the “relatively compact” 13.6kWh battery and the motor it’s attached to only operate above 62mph, and only for short bursts.
But still, with 720bhp to play without the motor, it’s still crazy fast up to 62mph: it’ll hit the benchmark speed from rest in 3.3 seconds. That’s just a tenth off an Audi R8 V10 Plus, for context.
You can’t buy the hybrid setup yet, as the RS6-E is just a concept for now. The idea is for the car to “provide an exciting glimpse of the future of tuning,” ABT says. It’s a glimpse we like the look of very much.