Mercedes may beg to differ but Audi’s Quattro division feels a 650-horsepower sedan is nonsensical.
Germany's "Big Three" make up over 85 percent of the luxury midsize market, and while its rivals' BMW M department and Mercedes-AMG have dominated the high-performance arena, Audi's Quattro GmbH has been making great strides in breaking the performance-oriented duopoly. The four rings has the Audi RS4, RS5, RS6 and RS7, as well as the RS Q3 and TT RS, but according to Car and Driver there doesn't appear to be room for an RS variant of Audi's flagship S8 sedan.
Quattro chief engineer Stephan Reil revealed an "RS would need to offer 20- to 25-percent more power than the same model in S guise." By that rigid rule of thumb, an RS8 would need between 630 and 655 hp, which, according to Reil "would not make sense." Mercedes' upcoming performance flagship, the new S65, is tipped to improve upon the current model's 621 hp. So, an RS8 would be pitched at punters looking at the S65 AMG. And there aren't too many of those. The bad news doesn't end there, as the same publication revealed the gorgeous Audi Nanuk Concept revealed at Frankfurt won't be put into production, despite recent reports to the contrary.