These photos of a long-wheelbase version of the next-generation A8 were captured on a smartphone by a fan of our spy photography agency.
Unlike earlier prototypes, which were covered head-to-toe in camouflage, this latest pre-production A8 model has just a few pieces of black tape disguising parts of the grille, and the head- and tail-lights.
As expected, the new A8 takes plenty of ideas from the Prologue series of concept cars. The A8 will be one of the first production vehicles entirely developed under the aegis of Marc Lichte, Audi's latest head of design, who promises to imbue the company's models with more differentiation.
Under the skin, the next-generation A8 is said to ride on the MLB Evo component set for front- and all-wheel drive cars with a longitudinal engine. As such, it will share a lot in common with the Audi Q7, the upcoming Q8, and the Bentley Bentayga, amongst others.
Although the new A8 will use high-strength steel, aluminium, magnesium and carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic throughout its new space frame body, the luxury marque has confirmed the new car's body shell will actually weigh 50kg more than the current vehicle's.
Motivation will likely come from a selection of V6, V8 and W12 petrol engines, and V6 and V8 turbo-diesels. Down the line, the A8 will also be offered with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
The new Audi A8 will make its debut on July 11 (European time). It's understood that the next-generation A8 won't go on sale in Europe and the USA until later this year, meaning that Australian deliveries should begin some time next year.