It’s been a while since we’ve seen the next-generation B9 Audi RS4 out testing, but Ingolstadt’s new wagon-bodied bruiser has finally been caught again by our European spy photographers, undergoing winter testing ahead of its unveiling at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

The RS4’s customary bespoke front bumper, with massive air intakes flanking the singleframe grille, is front and centre as before – though don’t expect that cool LED light bar to be offered on the options list anytime soon. Making its first appearance here, however, are fender box flares that replace the more conventional round ones on past mules. The rear diffuser also looks to be larger and more aggressive.

So, the wagon’s hulking appearance seems to have been retained, then, but another staple since the B7 model, the 4.2 litre naturally-aspirated V8, is set to be dropped in favour of a modified version of the S4‘s 3.0 litre turbocharged V6. On the RS model, the mill is expected to be augmented by twin turbos instead of just one on the S4, pushing power output from 354 hp to a massive 450 hp.

Also set to be ditched is the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, replaced by an eight-speed automatic transmission as seen on the current RS6 and RS7. Drive is almost certainly sent to all four wheels via a rear-biased version of Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.