During a relatively routine Nürburgring visit, our friends at CarPix spied what we believe to be a very early test mule of Audi's next-generation RS 5, wearing the requisite camouflage and large new fender flares, pointing toward a significantly wider track when compared to the standard car.  This spot comes just a few weeks after the same outlet spied the upcoming 4 door 'sportback' model in roughly the same location, and just nearly two weeks to the day before Audi's unveiling of the A5.  Due to this tight time frame, we do not anticipate the RS 5 to also be shown on that date.

Missing the quintessential oval exhaust exits for now, this RS 5 is powered by a hotter version of the V6T that's found in the S4, rumored to be producing somewhere in the neighborhood of 450hp.  This return to forced induction will likely be a welcomed change for both casual owners and enthusiasts alike, featuring enhanced efficiency and much higher tuning potential.  Sure, we'll miss the high-rev 4.2's post-7000rpm bark, but the ability to make more power while using half the fuel is certainly not lost on us.

Also missing in this version are vented brake rotors, likely another addition to come further down the line.  Recently, we've noticed a shift away from the RS 'wave' rotors on the updated RS 3 and all-new TT RS, so we don't expect them to make their return on the RS 5, but we do anticipate the production brake package to be a bit more exciting than what is pictured here.  The rotor wheels, while certainly handsome, will also be replaced with something a bit more interesting on the new model when it is finally revealed.

We expect the RS 5 to make it's debut sometime next year.  Until then, take a look at additional images below, and keep an eye on this space for the latest news.