A test session for the next-generation Audi A7 came to a fiery end in the Austrian Alps recently, when a test mule went up in flames, something was captured by our spy photographers.

As these dramatic photos show, the disguised prototype was towing a trailer along when a fire started under the bonnet. This prompted its occupants to exit the vehicle, swiftly remove the equipment inside, and attempt to extinguish the blaze.

Unfortunately, this proved to be unsuccessful, leading to the car being engulfed in flames and destroyed within 20 minutes. Soon after, a local fire crew arrived and managed to put out the flames, although there isn’t much to be salvaged by then.

Thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident, which didn’t reveal much about the design of the upcoming A7. Prior to being swallowed by the flames, the prototype looked almost similar to the current model, save for the added fender flares.

Not that it’s much of a surprise, as Audi had previously wrapped its new prototypes with familiar bodywork (like what we saw with the RS5). Nonetheless, this incident is a reminder why road testing is crucial, and also that a fire extinguisher is important for emergency purposes.

Going back to the A7, we already know that the fastback’s bodywork will be entirely new, as is the MLB Evo platform that underpins it. So far, our best look of the model is its rear, where it was spotted alongside the new D5 A8 sedan. The A7 will feature a few design cues from the prologue concept that was shown in Los Angeles in 2014.

GALLERY: Next-gen Audi A7 spyshots