These pictures are understood to show a development mule for the hotly anticipated Audi RS5 coupe.

Unlike other pre-production hacks, this car has S5 bodywork, except for the gaping intakes in the front bumper that are likely to make it to the production RS5. The production version is expected to get box wheel arches that hark back to the original Quattro and recent RS6.

See the Audi RS5 spy picture gallery

The S5 body suggests the car, which wears RS6 alloys, is being used as a testbed for engine development. The RS5 is likely to get the 4.2-litre V8 motor from the recent RS4, retuned to give more power with lower emissions.

The Audi RS5 will use a quattro drivetrain with Audi’s double-clutch S-tronic transmission, the first time an Audi RS product has featured twin-clutch technology.

The RS5 employs what Audi calls active aerodynamics, including a deployable rear spoiler. It will also be fitted with uprated drilled-disc brakes.

The price could be as high as £50,000, reflecting the premium charged for the old RS4, and to provide some space between the RS5 and the £42,980 TT RS.

The RS5 will be followed by an RS5 Roadster next year, completing the A5 family and providing the replacements for the RS4 saloon and cabrio.

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