The athletic sedan doesn't have all the final bits, but the oval exhausts give away its true colors.

We are still patiently waiting for Audi to take the wraps off the new S7, and in the meantime, the range-topping RS7 has been spotted once more tackling the Nürburgring. Never mind the “55 TFSI” badge at the back and the Sportback’s fairly standard appearance, because that’s just Audi’s way of throwing us off.

With oval exhaust tips and beefier wheel arches indicating wider tracks, we strongly believe the Four Rings were at the Nordschleife that day to test the icing on the RS7 Sportback’s cake, the mighty RS7. The camouflage on the front bumper indicates the prototype might have had the production-spec piece, which is something we can’t say about the rear one since the folks from Ingolstadt took the standard bumper and chopped it off to make room for the fat exhaust finishers.

That raspy soundtrack you hear comes from a big twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 borrowed from the Porsche Panamera Turbo or so we hear. It will allegedly push out a meaty 650 horsepower, but that’s not all as a hybridized version of the sports sedan is rumored to hit the 700-hp mark. It will do so by adapting the electrified powertrain you’ll find in the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.

We’re expecting the RS7 Sportback to arrive at some point next year, following the launch of the aforementioned S7 slated to take place at a major auto show in the coming months. It’s nice to see that although Audi Sport’s focus is clearly on speedy SUVs of all sizes, the company’s go-faster division hasn’t forgotten about its array of sedans. Now, if only we’d get an RS8 to fight the Mercedes-AMG S63…

Video: Automotive Mike / YouTube