Audi RS 6 GTO concept is an IMSA-inspired race wagon

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Perhaps you found the 591-hp Audi RS 6 Avant a bit ho-hum. After all, there’s the complete lack of side-exit exhaust. No race livery. And, let’s face it, that front grille could be larger.

Those objections are pure fantasy, of course—and so is this concept, dubbed the RS 6 GTO and based on the production-spec RS 6 Avant. Audi’s already tossed up an eye-wateringly expensive TT RS special edition to commemorate 40 years of its quattro performance brand, and this design study from the minds of Audi design trainees is the latest celebratory firework.

Audi/Snabshod Photography

The liveried wagon harkens to Audi’s raucous 90 quattro IMSA GTO. Built for the 1989 season of IMSA’s GTO series, this all-wheel-drive, box-fendered beast boasts a 2.2-liter turbocharged inline-five that can wail its way up to 720 hp. Behold it below, in all its chirping-turbo glory:

Though the 90 quattro earned Audi second place in the 1989 manufacturers’ championship (behind Ford), Audi didn’t stick around in IMSA, opting to pursue its native DTM series instead.

The RS 6 GTO concept is a longroof homage to Audi’s brief but successful stint in the States, and was thought up by Audi design department trainees based in Neckarsulm, Germany. Comparing the two, you can easily spot the shared elements: the edgy red, white, and black livery; the eye-catching white wheels; the proud red rear wing. Though the concept bears the RS 6 Avant’s angular headlights, the design apprentices tweaked the fascia to evoke the square-jawed IMSA entry, essentially morphing the brake ducts into the main grille to create a massive rectangle of blacked-out mesh.

Appropriately, the interior sports a pair of racing buckets framed by a full rollcage.

Audi/Snabshod Photography

Of course, the concept is a wagon, not a sedan, and it has eight cylinders instead of five—but we’ll overlook those details. We love these renderings’ creative evocation of motorsports history. Hey, Audi—more of this, please!

1989 audi 90 quattro imsa gto
Flickr/Brian Snelson
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