Audi looks set to deliver on its promise of A7 looks for the forthcoming next-generation A6, judging from the first spy images of its 5-series rival.
The relatively light disguise on this test car, spied racking up development miles in Germany, shows that the A7’s front end treatment is being transferred to its more conventional sibling.
The body graphics can’t hide the fact that the headlights are extremely slim towards the centre and widen towards the wings. And the central bar of cladding that splits the front grille is likely to disappear, giving the A6 a one-piece aperture similar to the A7’s.
Expect a more conventional set-up at the rear, though. Audi wants the A7’s tail-light treatment to be one of its stand-out features, so the A6 is more likely to follow the A8’s lead on their design.
Inside, the A6’s cabin is said to follow the feel of the four-door coupé’s — the two models will share more materials than the A7 does with the A8 — but feature a more traditional, less sporting dashboard architecture than that of its recently launched stablemate.
The A6 will also get a bench rear seat to allow it to cope with five occupants, instead of the A7’s strict four-seat layout. Legroom is likely to be the same, though, since the cars sit on the same chassis, a version of Audi’s MLP platform.
Engines will range from 2.0-litre petrol and turbodiesel units to a supercharged 3.0-litre petrol. Transmission options will include a seven-speed dual-clutch set-up and the eight-speed automatic introduced on the latest A8.
Due to make its public debut at the 2011 Geneva motor show, the A6 will be the third model in Audi’s ‘big car’ line-up to get the new styling language introduced on the A8 and subsequently modified for the A7.
The A4 is likely to follow suit, and by 2014 the A8 will get a mid-life facelift that will take the car through to an all-new generation in 2018.