While Audi is working on A6 E-Tron EV, it's not yet giving up on the version with a combustion engine. These spy shots catch the next-gen version in saloon and estate forms. It could be the final iteration with an ICE powerplant.

The gallery includes looks at the A6 saloon, estate, and the S6 four-door. These are still development vehicles and largely wear the bodies of existing models. The engineers modify them with parts like cutouts for the exhaust pipes at the rear.

Gallery: Audi A6 Spy Photos

Note that there are high-voltage stickers on the S6. A cover for a charger appears to be on the driver's side rear quarter panel because this piece isn't on the other vehicles in the gallery.

Inside, this vehicle has a mix of various parts. The digital instrument cluster is just a placeholder because it doesn't fill the cluster surrounding it. The infotainment screen also appears to be a temporary piece. Three emergency stop buttons are also in there.

It's not clear when the next-gen A6 would arrive. Judging by these test mules, development is still at an early stage.

Audi CEO Markus Duesmann recently suggested the brand intended to update its naming scheme. The A6 would become the A7. Meanwhile, the A4 would turn into the A5. The company's strategy would be to use even numbers for electric vehicles and odd numbers for combustion-powered vehicles.

The A6 E-Tron is now deep into development. Spy shots show it with a smoothly styled body and split headlights. A more aggressive RS6 variant is also on the way.

The A6 E-Tron rides on the Premium Platform Electric architecture that's also underneath the upcoming Q6 E-Tron and Porsche Macan EV. No powertrain specifics are available yet, but the concept for the model has a pair of electric motors making 470 bhp. Its battery has a range of 435 miles in the WLTP test cycle. 

We expect to see the A6 E-Tron debut at some point in 2023. The RS6 E-Tron would come later.