The continuous rise of SUVs has greatly impacted demand for saloons, and it’s especially true the higher you move up a manufacturer’s range. Nevertheless, luxury brands are still dedicating their time, effort, and money to develop flagship saloons. Mercedes recently launched a new S-Class while BMW is preparing the next-gen 7 Series. Lexus updated the LS, and as these spy shots reveal, Audi will be doing the same with its A8 range topper.

Caught by our spies during a winter test in northern Scandinavia, the fullsize luxury saloon from Ingolstadt was being evaluated in the standard-wheelbase specification. A previous set of spy shots revealed Audi is also testing the A8 L, possibly in the ultra-lux Horch specification. You might be wondering by now what exactly has changed because the prototype looks just about the same. Well, there are actually a few key differences.

Gallery: 2022 Audi A8 facelift new spy photos

Starting at the front, the A8 facelift will get an updated front grille without the horizontal lines running across its entire width. The grille now has a more intricate pattern with multiple vertical elements finished in black, although that could change for the production model as Audi could switch to chrome or a metallic finish.

The headlights have a different shape with a half section at the bottom and revised graphics with the LED daytime running lights moved on top to mimic the A4 saloon. Audi appears to have made some subtle changes to the front bumper, but nothing to write home about as it looks like a change for the sake of change.

As far as the rear is concerned, it appears virtually identical at a first glance. However, the taillights have slightly different graphics if you know where to look. The upper light bar is interrupted in a couple of places while the lower half of the taillight has a revised lighting pattern. It would make sense for the revised A8 to get the 2021 Q5’s configurable digital OLED taillights, but that remains to be seen.

An official reveal is scheduled to take place in the coming months. With Audi announcing the A4 and A6 will become pure EVs by the end of the decade, the A8 will likely follow suit. Meanwhile, the aforementioned Horch variant is expected to go down in history as the very last Audi with the majestic W12 engine.