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by Brett Davis

Audi has been spotted testing a prototype version of the upcoming high performance Audi RS6 Avant. The car was seen in Sweden during extreme winter testing.

The 2013 Audi RS6 is based on the new Audi A6. It will feature various performance-inspired revisions, including sports suspension, hip-hugging sports seats and a number of mechanical reinforcements to accommodate high-speed driving.

Although it’s hard to spot on this test car, the Audi RS6 Avant will also get a discreet bodykit with revised front and rear bumpers, a deeper front air dam and intake, and aggressive elements like pumped wheel arches.

It is yet to be confirmed, although it’s likely the new RS6 will be powered by a version of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine also seen in the Audi S6, S8, and the new Bentley Continental V8. Output is expected to be above 450kW.

The new model will also get a set of huge cross-drilled disc brakes with six-piston front calipers (as evident on this test car) hiding behind large alloy wheels. Meanwhile, at the back, the new car will showcase trademark quad exhaust outlets.

Audi is said to be looking at keeping overall weight to a minimum with the new RS6, with reports suggesting the upcoming model will feature carbon fibre elements, such as front guards and other panels like the Audi RS3.

All is expected to be revealed at an international motor show towards the end of this year.