When a company like Audi debuts a new model line, enthusiasts know it brings with it the promise of a high-performance muscle-beast to follow. And so is the case with the A6 leading to the RS6.

The first RS6 packed a twin-turbo V8 good for 444 horsepower, and the second-generation model had a 571-horse V10. As is the general trend with German muscle, the new model pictured in these spy shots – snapped at the Nürburgring with telltale RS4-style intakes and widened fender flares – will likely downsize back to a twin-turbo eight. The smart money's on Quattro GmbH taking the 4.0 TFSI from the S8 and the Bentley Continental GT, but tweaking it to its own specifications. Output is likely to hover around that of its predecessor, trading two cylinders for as many turbo spools.

As with past models, the new RS6 is likely to come first in Avant wagon form before the sedan comes along soon thereafter. Whether any RS6 models makes it Stateside, however, remains to be seen, but we can certainly hope.

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