Our spy photographers have captured the revised S5 being put through its paces at the Nurburgring, ahead of its launch next year.

Looks have received subtle revisions over the current car, but we know that under its bonnet the new S5 gets Audi’s new supercharged 3.0-litre V6 engine in place of the current model’s 4.2-litre V8.

The new motor made its debut in the recently-revealed S4, and although its 329bhp is slightly down on old V8’s 339bhp, it has more mid-range torque and a broader powerband.

>> See more pictures of the next Audi S5

Audi claims the new S4 is 0.5 seconds quicker from 0-62mph than the V8, and if the S5 improves by the same margin then it will drop under 5 seconds for the benchmark acceleration test. Top speed will continue to be limited to 155mph.

The revised S5 will also benefit from the option of a seven-speed twin-clutch DSG transmission and the latest iteration of Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system, which uses a torque vectoring active rear differential to assist cornering.

Although the S5 is switching to V6 power, Audi insiders insist that the company is intending to use a V8 in the forthcoming RS5, which should make its debut in 2010.

Prices and final specs for the S5 will be announced ahead of its launch early next year.