The Audi S7 has been spied testing at the Nurburgring for the first time - even though the production Audi A7 won't be unveiled until the Moscow motor show in late August.
The Audi S7 is differentiated from the standard model by a more aggressive front bumper, bigger air intakes, bigger wheels and a quad exhaust.
It is not clear how much power the S7 will have, although unconfirmed reports suggest it will be either a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 or 4.2-litre V8 with around 500bhp.
UK sales of the Audi A7 will start in March next year and a V10-powered RS variant will also be part of the range.
The A7 is the first model based on Audi’s new mid-size platform, which will underpin next year’s seventh-generation A6. The 4950mm-long A7 has been conceived to provide stiff competition to the new Mercedes-Benz CLS, also set to be revealed at the Paris show, and a production version of BMW’s recently unveiled Gran Coupe concept due in 2012.