The next Audi S7 has been spotted testing again in Southern Europe, and first off at the front it is the new, even larger and more imposing grille design which sets the tone for the car’s aesthetics. Here, a set of large air intakes on either side of the front bumper denote the higher-performance variant, though as an S model there is precious little else with which to identify it, save for a set of quad exhaust pipes at the back.

The rear of the S7 also appears to have a red section which is not concealed by the car’s camouflage, which could be a centrally-mounted brake light; time will tell if that is in fact the case. In this area, the aforementioned quad tailpipes reside in a rear bumper that now reveals more of its shape and contours compared to a previous sighting.

What will power the next S7 remains to be seen, but with power output expected to be around the 440 hp to 460 hp region, it could either be the 2.9 litre biturbo V6 from the Porsche Panamera 4S, or a version of the 4.0 litre turbocharged V8 which is also expected to power a version of the latest Audi A8.

Sitting one rung below the flagship A8, the A7 (and consequently this S7) is a prime candidate for receiving the new A8’s partially autonomous driving capabilities, possibly with functions such as Audi’s AI traffic jam pilot, which on the A8 allows the driver to take his or her hands off the steering wheel completely at speeds of up to 60 km/h.

Under the skin, where the S7 previously employed a dual-clutch automatic for transmission purposes, the upcoming model could make a switch to a conventional torque converter eight-speed transmission, as its smaller and more overtly sporting RS5 sibling has done.

As with the most recent Audis including the A8, the S7 can be expected to include the new 48-volt electrical architecture and the advances that it can facilitate, including a belt alternator starter setup, and possibly the A8’s AI active suspension.