The current Audi A8 has been on sale since 2003 and since that time has only received a minor facelift to keep it fresh alongside the Mercedes Benz S-Class, Lexus LS and recently revealed BMW 7-series. The minor styling changes implemented during the recent facelift will have to soldier on for at least another year as the next-generation ‘D4’ A8, according to latest reports, is expected to arrive in the second half of next year as a 2011 model. The reports also claim a new entry-level model fitted with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine will be offered for the first time.

A prototype for the car has been spotted undergoing cold weather testing on a number of occasions, but always hidden beneath the current D3 body. Tell-tale signs that the prototype was the next-generation model included extended fender flares, a stretched wheelbase and wider track.

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