Flagship four-door coupe/hatch hybrid hits the Nurburgring

The next-generation Audi RS7 has been spied tackling the famed Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany.

As per the outgoing model, the new RS7 will share its running gear with the related RS6, meaning it will likely team a new twin-turbo V8 with the company's quattro all-wheel drive system.

Compared to the regular A7, this RS7 prototype wears a far more aggressive fascia with larger intakes and sharper lines, while the rear gets a diffuser treatment with massive oval tailpipes – a signature of RS models.

The huge alloys on this vehicle are obviously not production units, but the large brakes hiding behind them likely are. Expect six-piston calipers up front and four-piston units at the rear, with the option of carbon-ceramic discs.

Other than those changes the vehicle looks like a regular A7, right down to the 'A7' badging and '55 TFSI' model designation.

We can't really see the interior in these images, but you can expect the usual Audi RS trimmings and features to be included in the cabin, such as sports seats, unique badging, carbon-fibre inlays, and a sports steering wheel.

While a bi-turbo V8 is the most likely powertrain to be used in the new RS6 and RS7 – which allegedly will be a new unit shared with a new V8 version of the Bentley Continental GT – there's also talks of a hybrid powertrain since Audi, and the wider Volkswagen Group for that matter, pushes harder for electrification.

Should that be the case, we reckon the plug-in hybrid system used in the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, complete with a whopping 500kW of power and 850Nm of torque, could be a likely candidate – but that's all rumours at this stage.

For now, we'll have to wait for Audi's official reveal of the production model, which may not happen until very late this year or sometime in early-2019. Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest, and head to the galleries section for more images.