New Audi RS5 estate is Audi Sport's first PHEV

“We have technology synergy with [parent company] Audi AG, so the main decision we have to take is which model has to be approached in what kind of way.”

When asked if the brand is concerned about its customers’ immediate reaction to going electric, Michl said: “I think there’s also a path together with the customers. We’re looking car by car and we clearly have a close view to the usage profile.”

Giving an example, he said: “The RS4 and RS6 are everyday cars used for longer distances, so probably the path [to electrification] is not [an abrupt] one. We will go for hybridisation and you will see that people will say that they are happy about the additional value for it being electrified.”

audi rs5 side

It is unclear which powertrain Audi will use to replace the mild-hybrid V8 in the current RS6, but with a new A6 – rebadged as A7 – on the way and the limited-run RS6 GT revealed as a celebratory run-out version of the 621bhp family wagon, a plug-in hybrid successor is not expected to be far away.

The MLB platform that underpins the newly renamed A5 and A7 model lines has been upgraded in recent Audi models to include a new electric architecture with 48V capability.

This enables the adoption of additional functions such as the Dynamic All-Wheel Steering system used by the A6, A7, A8, Q7 and Q8, as well as new level-two autonomous driving functions currently being developed by Audi’s Car.Software division.

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