Next-Gen Audi RS4 Will Be a Plug-in Hybrid as Brand is Going for Electrification

While American sports cars offer better and better V8 engines, their European counterparts will rely on hybrid technology. Downsizing is proving not to be enough to meet those ever-stricter emissions regulations, and Audi has made it clear that its RS models will increasingly rely on battery power to go fast.
Next-Gen Audi RS4 Will Be a Plug-in Hybrid as Brand is Going for Electrification 1 photo
Photo: Audi
Yesterday, we learned that the RS6 and RS7 are likely to get those rumored Performance plug-in models in the future. But the RS4 and presumably the RS5 will be PHEVs too, perhaps not even as an option.

This is big news from Audi Sport Oliver Hoffman, who spoke with Autocar on the sidelines of the Frankfurt Motor Show. According to statements, the next-generation RS4 will switch to a plug-in powertrain.

No further information is available, which doesn't mean we can't put two and two together. The next-generation A4 sedan/wagon should come out in about three years and the sports versions should take another year on top of that. So 2023 is the likely time of arrival for this fuel-sipping RS4 model, which doesn't necessarily mean the current setup will survive until then.

Introduced a couple of years ago, the RS4 switched from a 4.2-liter V8 to a bi-turbo 2.9-liter V6 producing 450 horsepower. The engine was co-developed with Porsche and was recently added to the Macan Turbo after a refresh.

So what's the replacement going to be like? Well, Audi currently has a 367 horsepower TFSIe engine, a 2-liter. But an RS4 deserves more. Several concepts have been shown with a 3-liter single-turbo hybrid system, which sounds better suited for the job. Then again, a 2.5 TFSI hybrid would sound awesome too.

What else do we know about the model? Well, for a while, Audi was looking into using the Passat platform for the next A4, which would have been bad for the RS model. Also, the A5 Sportback, which is closely related, could get the axe.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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