Audi has finally started testing the next generation A6 with its production lights as this new batch of spy photos reveals.

The prototype we photographed out testing in the new snow wears less camouflage than ever and you can clearly see its headlights and rear lights will strongly resemble the ones on the recently launched A7 Sportback, despite earlier promises from the German manufacturer that the two cars won’t end up looking too identical.

Compared with the current A6, the new model will feature a more aggressive design with an even wider radiator grille and sleeker headlights. The side profile remains relatively unchanged, but at the back, it seems like the comfortable saloon will get an LED stripe connecting the back lights, just like we've seen on the A7 and A8 – but we can’t confirm that for now, because camouflage.

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2019 Audi A6 spy photo
2019 Audi A6 spy photo

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series arch rival will be based on Volkswagen Group's MLB Evo platform, which should bring a healthy weight loss thanks to the extensive use of aluminium in its construction. We haven’t heard anything about the engine lineup so far, but you don’t have to be a car guru to know that most, if not all, of the power units in the range will be shared with the two larger models in the Audi range. Which is no bad thing.

Now that the A8 and A7 are out and about, Audi is strictly focused on the development of its third large saloon, which is expected to receive its official premiere during the first quarter of next year – probably during the 2018 Geneva motor show in early March. Of course, it's not just the saloon variant – later we'll see the new estate version of the car – the A6 Avant – and the rugged A6 Allroad, which gets four-wheel drive and a jacked-up body.

Gallery: 2018 Audi A6 spied with production lights