Audi’s stylish A5 range is in store for a very mild facelift, with the first prototypes for the new S5 variant spotted today running laps at the famous Nurburgring circuit in Germany. Looking at the shots, one would easily think this is just a regular S5 but look more closely and several new subtle details are revealed.
We can clearly see a new set of tail lights with LED detailing similar to the units fitted to the more upscale A7 Sportback. The detailing especially becomes apparent in the image where the car’s brakes are applied. The front of the car also has some minor styling changes, noticeable in the indicator elements installed in the head lights.
What’s unclear is whether or not Audi is planning to keep its grunty 4.2-liter V-8 in the latest S5 or switch to a ‘downsized’ supercharged 3.0-liter V6 like it did with the S4. A six-speed manual should remain the standard option, though an eight-speed automatic may be offered alongside the trick dual clutch transmission on this 2012 model.
The facelifted 2012 Audi A5 range is expected to go on sale towards the end of the year, following a world debut most likely at September’s 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. The changes will eventually make their way across the rest of the A5 range, including the S5 seen here, A5 Convertible and A5 Sportback.
The high-performance RS5 should also incorporate the latest changes, and this is the version likely to appear in the U.S. for the first time early next year.