The next-generation Audi S4 Avant makes another appearance for our spy photographers stationed around the world. This particular camo-wrapped prototype was caught on back roads in Germany, not far from the Nurburgring. From what we can see, there's still quite a bit of evaluation being done on the new model.
The placeholder taillights at the back are obvious to even untrained observers, jutting out beneath the sloped rear window. Drop your gaze a bit further, however, and you'll see a wire connected to the pair of exhaust tips on the left side of the car. The nature of the wire is unknown, could be some form of emissions testing, sound, or other parameters. The wire threads into the back at the base of the hatch, where there's certainly plenty of room for computers or other testing equipment to hide.
Gallery: New Audi S4 Avant Spy Photos
Compared to our previous S4 Avant sighting, this prototype isn't saddled with test gear over its wheels. As such, rather basic five-spoke rims in black offer a very clear view of the big brakes nestled behind. At a glance, one might wonder if we're really looking at an RS 4 model. Other styling cues, notably a lack of larger corner vents on the face, suggest this is the tamer version. While our attention is on the face, we get a taste of the new headlights that will slim down only slightly. The grille will also stretch a bit wider, but the takeaway is that the new S4 will be easily recognisable as an Audi.
Our spy sources believe the current turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine will carry over to the new model, though it could gain some hybrid assistance in the process. In its present form, the S4 generates 349 bhp (260 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-metres) of torque. Naturally, that goes to all four wheels, but a modest hybrid boost could raise output closer to 400 bhp.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there's still quite a road ahead before we get full disclosure on the new S4. We're expecting a debut at some point in 2023 – likely in the first half of the year – launching as a 2024 model.