Monday, May 16, 2011

Spied: Audi S7/RS7 mule spotted testing in Spain

. Monday, May 16, 2011

Our spy photographers are still nestled deep within the Spanish countryside, hard at work spying on Audi and quattro GmbH's warm weather test drives. Today's shots are of an A7-bodied test mule that's nearly identical to the S7 mule we caught at the Nurburgring last September. We do however, have a sneaking suspicion that an RS7 powerplant could be under the hood of this one. More details and photos after the jump.

As its official debut nears, it becomes more apparent that the S7 will look very similar to an A7 S-line with some new bright-work, different wheels and quad exhaust. With that in mind then, this test mule could easily be branded an S7 (specifically pointing to this car's larger brakes and four exhaust pipes). But there is one small, yet very important detail which separates this from previously spied mules - the license plates.

Like last week's S/RS Q5 spy shots, you'll notice that this car is wearing "HN" license plates. These plates are almost always indicative of Neckarsulm/Heilbronn-based, quattro GmbH's RS-badged test mules (A and S cars typically carry Ingolstadt's "IN" license plates). This seemingly mundane detail could mean that an RS-heart is beating beneath the hood.

Whether this is an S7 or RS7, both models are expected to boast some pretty potent power figures. Citing leaked ETKA documents (Elektronischer Teilekatalog, the official Volkswagen Group parts catalog), speculation currently points to Audi's new biturbo, 4.0-liter V8 to power both. With 408hp for the S7 and most likely, just over 500hp for the RS7.

*Trailer hitch not included ;)

As always, until official confirmation, this is purely speculation. We'll be sure to keep our eyes and ears open for further developments.