The Audi RS5 is still under development and already looking great. When it arrives next year, the coupe could reportedly pack around 450 horsepower.

After the recent premiere of the next-gen S5, Audi’s engineers can now focus all their attention on the fire-breathing RS5, and these new spy photos catch the coupe testing on the roads around the Nürburgring. We should see the model debut next year. The premiere could come as soon as the Geneva Motor Show in March, and if not, look for it at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Sales would begin before the end of 2017.

Compared to the S5, this range-topping model has much larger intakes in the lower fascia. The bumper also appears slightly wider, which gives the coupe a larger track for better handling. There are two large oval-shaped exhaust pipes at the back, and the trunk gains a tiny lip spoiler. These changes certainly aren’t massive, but they give the RS5 a more aggressive appearance than the other versions in the lineup.

We don’t have photos of the RS5’s interior yet, but Audi’s past RS models give us a good guide of what to expect. Drivers can look forward to lots of Alcantara, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and big bolsters for the sport seats.

The RS5 reportedly packs a tuned version of the 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 from the S5. Where the engine makes 349 horsepower there, the output reportedly jumps to around 450 hp in the RS5. Some reports claim the powerplant gets an extra turbo, and others allege the mill benefits from an electric compressor like the SQ7.

The new engine might not sound as good as the current naturally-aspirated 4.2-litre V8, but the next RS5 should be quite a sharp handler. By moving to the MLB Evo platform, the latest A5 weighs 60 kilograms (32 pounds) less than its predecessor. If Audi adds some carbon fibre pieces to the RS5, the coupe could lose even more weight.

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