Unless you've missed the memo, the Audi A4 as we know it is being retired. The Ingolstadt-based luxury brand will transition the model to the A5 moniker, and that will impact the S and RS performance versions as well. In addition, the A4/S4 Sedan is being retired altogether, leaving only the A5/S5 for the next generation. Spies have now sent us images of next S5 in Sportback guise while wearing the full production body along with the final lights.

While the S5 Avant (yes, get used to this name) wagon has already been caught multiple times, it's our first time seeing the S5 being tested in Sportback guise. It's unclear at this point whether Audi will be retaining the car's suffix, or it will be simply known as the S5. This prototype looks like it has a tailgate rather than a boot lid, hinting once again at the imminent demise of the conventional saloon.

Next-generation Audi S5 spy photos

The quad exhaust is staying but the frameless windows are sadly a no-show, so some of the car's sophistication is gone. Despite the camouflage, it's obvious the new S5 has flush door handles and is likely hiding a light bar at the rear. Initial impressions are the evolutionary styling is working out quite nicely for the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe competitor. We are pleasantly surprised to see the grille is a tad smaller as Audi has added a separate lower air intake. Hopefully, those are functional air curtains on the sides of the bumper rather than fake plastic trim.

It will be interesting to see what the engineers are hiding underneath the bonnet considering the outgoing S5 is powered by a diesel engine in Europe. The V6 TDI is not used all over the world as many markets get a V6 TFSI. A recent report claims the diesel will be dropped in favor of a twin-turbo, 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine taken from the RS4 Avant. The latter's successor, the RS5 Avant, is going hybrid without downsizing considering Audi Sport has announced it won't develop four-cylinder RS models. 

Logic tells us the regular A5 models will be revealed first, most likely in the latter half of the year. The 2023 IAA Munich in early September seems like the perfect venue to show off the new generation. The hotter S5 should arrive shortly thereafter, with the RS5 due at some point in 2024.

One piece of the puzzle is what will happen with the A5 Coupe/Convertible and their derivatives as there have been zero spy shots of the two-door models. With the TT and R8 discontinued, dropping the less practical A5 models would leave Audi without any coupes and convertibles. Speaking of models vanishing from the lineup, the A1 supermini and Q2 subcompact crossover will not be renewed, with Audi saying the next-gen A3 will become its entry-level offering.