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Facelifted Audi A6 spotted testing ahead of launch later this year

Our spy photographers have snapped the facelifted Audi A6 tackling the latter stages of its development programme. The tweaked saloon is expected to go on sale later this year, where it’ll offer renewed competition for the likes of the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and the Maserati Ghibli.

Audi’s revisions for the A6 are fairly restrained, with the major cosmetic changes being limited to the camouflaged portions of this prototype. So, there’s a new front bumper with what appears to be a slightly smaller radiator grille, as well as a fresh pair of headlamps with more modern daytime running lights and projector units.

The lamps are the same shape as those found on the recently updated Audi A8 limo, and it’s possible that they’ll be available on the A6 with the same Digital Matrix LED technology – although almost certainly as an optional extra. The A8’s headlamps contain 1.3 million micromirrors, which Audi says can precisely adjust the beam pattern to help light up dark patches on the road and improve the driver’s visibility.

It’s much the same story at the rear. The tail lights have refreshed design signatures, the rear valance is a slightly different shape and the boot lid seems to have a larger overhang above the licence plate. The exhaust is also still hidden by the rear bumper.

We’re expecting the usual suite of trim and upholstery tweaks inside, as well as some updated software for the car’s tri-screen infotainment setup. The screens themselves are unlikely to change, though, with buyers getting the same 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 8.8-inch infotainment system and 8.6-inch screen to operate the climate controls.

The current A6’s engine line-up will also be carried forward onto the facelifted car with only minimal changes. Starting at the bottom, there’ll be a 201bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel unit and a pair of 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engines with either 201bhp or 261bhp.

Stepping up a rung, there’ll be an updated version of the A6 55 TFSI, which will get its grunt from a 335bhp turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine. It’ll also have a diesel V6 counterpart with 282bhp – and both options will come with quattro four-wheel drive as standard.

Plug-in hybrid power will remain a constant in the A6 range, with the updated 50 TFSI e offering 295bhp and a maximum electric only range of up to 34 miles (providing Audi doesn’t make any changes to the current car’s battery pack).

At the very top of the line-up, there’ll be the performance-focussed Audi S6 and RS6. The former will be powered by a 344bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel, while the latter will have a 592bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8. Again, both will have four-wheel drive.

Now now read our review of the updated plug-in hybrid Audi A8 60 TFSI e…

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