The upcoming, fifth-generation Audi A4 has been spied once again during winter testing ahead of an expected reveal during the second half of this year.

Unlike previously spied A4 Avant prototypes, this one appears to have production-ready headlights and tail lights, as well as less camouflage than ever.

As previously reported, it’s rumoured the new-generation Audi A4 could be wagon-only as we’ve yet to see a prototype of a new A4 sedan.

If this is true that will mean the larger A5 Sportback will have to pick up the slack for buyers who prefer more of a three-box shape.

While the sedan could be on the chopping block, hotter variants aren’t as we’ve previously spied S4 and RS4 test mules.

The next A4 is reportedly set to gain a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain, joining the existing lineup of petrol and diesel engines.

A high-performance PHEV powertrain could make its way into the next RS4, potentially a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 PHEV unit.

While rival Mercedes-Benz has moved to an entirely four-cylinder powertrain lineup for its regular and AMG C-Class lineup, Audi could continue to offer sixes for its performance models as BMW does.

The styling on this next-generation Audi A4 prototype appears to be evolutionary with a similarly shaped grille and headlights as the current model.

Previous spy photos have revealed the wider A4 family will continue to use a large, tablet-style, landscape-oriented central touchscreen. It’ll now have the climate controls integrated though.

The next-generation A4, S4 and RS4 are expected to use an updated version of the existing MLB Evo platform, and might be the last to feature combustion engines.

As previously reported, Audi is planning to cease the sale of cars with internal-combustion engines outside of China by 2033.

The A4 isn’t the only Volkswagen Group vehicle rumoured to be going wagon-only in its next generation.

The Volkswagen Passat sedan has already been discontinued, and the next-generation model reportedly won’t offer a three-box body style.

While that may seem unusual – the only body style seemingly less popular than a sedan in Australia nowadays is a wagon – the wagon accounted for the lion’s share of Passat sales in its home market of Germany.

The lack of a sedan could spell the end of the A4 in the US market, but the brand’s commitment to wagon models here could put it on a more stable footing even as crossovers have become the brand’s biggest sellers by some margin.

Audi axed the A4 allroad and its larger A6 allroad showroom-mate in the UK last year but committed to continuing to offer these models in Australia, calling them important incremental models.

The company sold just 535 examples of the wider A4 range in Australia in 2022, including the high-riding allroad wagon, which was scarcely more than the 387 examples it sold of the related A5 Sportback.

BMW, however, sold 2818 examples of its 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz sold 3566 C-Class sedans.

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MORE: Everything Audi A4

Jack Quick

Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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