Audi recently unveiled the new 2017 Audi A5 and S5 Coupe, which is now based on the B9 A4, not too long ago. Much like the first-generation model, a high-performance RS variant will likely join the mix in the future, and here’s an early look at a pre-production prototype.

At first glance, the test mule certainly looks identical to the new S5. Upon closer inspection, there are a few design cues that give away its true identity. As a start, the wheel arches have sprouted extensions, and there are now much larger wheels fitted. Large, oval-shaped exhausts are also seen here, a common sight on Audi RS models.

The new RS5 is likely to give up its naturally-aspirated V8 for a turbocharged V6 instead. On the S5, there is a 3.0 litre turbocharged TFSI petrol V6 from the S4 that puts out 354 PS, 21 PS more than the old supercharged V6.

Expect the RS5 to benefit from an uprated version of said engine, with an additional turbo to bring output to around the 450 hp mark. Audi is likely to pair the engine with its S tronic dual-clutch transmission, as well as quattro all-wheel drive.

Interior highlights that should be found in the RS5 include a flat-bottom steering wheel, Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, touch-based climate control, sports seats, carbon-fibre trim pieces and the latest MMI infotainment system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Given how far advanced this prototype looks, it shouldn’t be too long until Audi officially reveals the production version of the RS5. When it debuts, it will go up against the likes of the BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe, where only the Merc still retains a V8.

GALLERY: 2017 Audi S5