2010 Audi A7 spied during high-speed testing

These images are our best proof yet that Audi is working on its Mercedes CLS-killer, likely to carry the A7 nameplate when it arrives in showrooms by 2010.
2010 Audi A7 high-speed testing spied
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These grainy images were captured from quite a distance away while the test mule was travelling at high speed for testing purposes on the salt flats.

The four-door coupe-like A7 will be just as exclusively equipped as the A8, maintaining Audi's current design philosophy.

2010 Audi A7 high-speed testing spied

Unlike the A8 however, entry-level models will start at the top of the food chain in the performance stakes, with customers likely to be offered a choice between the 4.2-litre V8 FSI and Audi’s new 6.0-litre V12 TDI.

Reports indicate the brand's 6.0-litre W12 engine is being phased out due to cost and emissions issues, meaning it is unlikely to feature in the A7 range.

2010 Audi A7 high-speed testing spied

Despite its performance credentials, some base models are expected to be front-wheel drive along with an optional Audi quattro all-wheel drive system.