Super wagon spotted for the first time

A development vehicle believed to be the next-generation Audi RS6 has been snapped for the first time in Europe, giving us a first look at the upcoming performance estate.

Based on the latest A6 Avant, the new RS6 borrows the body shell of its more pedestrian brethren, adding a more aggressive front and rear as seen by the camouflaged components in the images.

Up front there are extra intakes on each side of the bumper, and a prominent splitter treatment. Out back, this prototype gets massive oval exhaust pipe finishers – a trademark of Audi RS models.

In terms of motivation, the new RS6 is expected to feature a new twin-turbo V8 petrol engine, which will likely be shared with an upcoming V8 variant of the new Bentley Continental GT.

However, it could also be a version of the 404kW/770Nm 4.0-litre bi-turbo bent eight in the new Porsche Panamera Turbo. Given the outgoing RS6 Performance makes 445kW and 750Nm, Audi would need to give the Porsche's motor a boost to create an inter-generational power bump.

There's also rumours that the RS6 could get a hybrid system for the first time. If that's the case, the new wagon may have a lot in common with the plug-in hybrid Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, which makes a whopping 500kW and 850Nm.

Such a electrified setup could see the new RS6 hit triple figures in the low-3.0-second bracket, while consuming as little as 3.0L/100km on the combined cycle.

It's unclear exactly when the new RS6 will be revealed – we need to wait for the S6 first – but we have a hunch it'll surface very late this year, or early next.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest, and head to the galleries section for more images.