We’ve seen all kinds of Audi Q6 test vehicles in recent months. Camo-wrapped prototypes have been patrolling the snowy north, undergoing winter testing. This one, however, is a bit different. Our sources tell us this is an RS model, packing bigger brakes, snazzy bodywork, and naturally, more power. It’s also cruising on bare roads, reminding us that winter is officially over.
How much more power will the RS model have? That’s actually a difficult question to answer, as we haven’t heard much about the standard Q6 E-Tron. Curiously, the rumors only cover the RS Q6, which could pack as much as 600 horsepower (447 kilowatts) from dual motors and a beefy battery pack. Lower-spec versions of the Q6 E-Tron will reportedly offer a variety of battery packs for single-motor or dual-motor layouts, but power output is unknown. For comparison, the smaller Q4 E-Tron starts with 168 hp (125 kW) in a single-motor arrangement with the range-topper using dual motors for 295 hp (220 kW).
Aside from power, how else with the RS Q6 E-Tron differ from the pack? It’s easy to see a more aggressive front fascia in this collection of 29 spy photos. It’s also easy to spot the upgraded brakes, though admittedly, the rotors up front might seem a bit small for an RS model. Being an E-Tron, regenerative braking should work in conjunction with upgraded brake components, but for those who need further proof of RS lineage, check out the red calipers.
At the back, we struggle to see anything of note separating the RS from lower trims. Camouflage wrap still covers this RS Q6 top-to-bottom, but we expect differences in exterior trim. A close look at the side of this prototype suggests some extra cladding is underneath, though it could be false panels designed to throw us off. All the lights appear production-spec, including the split-headlight setup that will grace the entire Q6 E-Tron lineup.
That just leaves us with the the question of a debut date. The standard Q6 E-Tron is still wearing camouflage wrap and should debut later this year. The performance models always come later, however, so we may not see the RS Q6 E-Tron until 2023.