German carmakers love parity; when one comes up with a new car, the others jump to build versions of their own. Do you think the Audi A7 or BMW M6 Gran Coupe would exist if Mercedes-Benz hadn’t conjured up the CLS-Class first?
Stephan Reil, the chief engineer of Audi’s quattro performance division, said that “any RS would need to offer 20- to 25-percent more power than the same model in S guise. And in this light, an RS 8 or RS A8 would not make sense.”
An RS 8 would need 630 to 655 horsepower to comply with that rule. That’s something we’d love to see, but it probably doesn’t make much business sense.
Since the launch of the RS 2 Avant of the 1990s, Audi has worked to make its RS performance models the equals of those from AMG and BMW’s M division. That includes expanding the lineup to keep pace with the other two.
Turning a full-size luxury sedan into a performance car must seemed like a bit too much of a stretch for quattro, though.
That means the closest rival to Mercedes’ AMG S-Class variants will still be the Alpina B7, a tuned version of the BMW 7 Series. That is, unless you count the more flamboyant Maserati Quattroporte, which is fast, but lacks the subtlety buyers of these types of cars usually covet.