Audi “Spy” Photos Show Facelifted E-Tron S Sportback Playing In Snow

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Capturing images of cars under development on the automaker’s secret test site is no easy task. That is, unless the automaker takes a photo and posts it on the internet. That’s exactly what Audi is doing with the upcoming mid-cycle refresh of the E-Tron, though the company didn’t go out and say so right away.

Instead, Audi released an overview of its private winter testing facility located in northern Sweden. The exact location is not disclosed, and Audi refers to it simply as the KALT 1. The fenced area covers nearly 9,000 hectares and offers 51 miles of various roads and trails to drive. And by driving, we mean power slides because let’s be honest – if you had 51 miles of private roads and frozen lakes to yourself, you’d always be sideways. We will definitely do it. Judging from the many photos that Audi has included, the test driver also did it.

Stories about testing facilities and details on Audi’s refinements are all well and good, but we’re intrigued by the high-resolution photos of the updated E-Tron. The test car shown here wears the same camouflage cover we’ve seen before, hiding minor design changes for a mid-cycle refresh. High resolution images allow us to zoom in for a very looks obvious, but to Audi’s credit, the camouflage wrap does its job. Being a staged photo, there’s no chance of finding a slip-up on the cover or a certain angle that shows the outline of the body better.

Also, a visible facelift very minor. We can see some outlines on the front and rear fascia, and they all seem to match the current model. The photos also include a shot of the prototype’s interior, and while we didn’t see the full greenhouse, what we saw also matched the current E-Tron Sportback. Our conclusion? This mid-cycle refresh will be very subtle. But Audi likes smooth.

Front View of Audi E-Tron S Sportback Prototype 2023
Rear View of Audi E-Tron S Sportback Prototype 2023
Interior of the Audi E-Tron S Sportback Prototype 2023

Bigger news could come under that name. Reports say that Audi will be christening the updated E-Tron with the Q8 badge, thus providing more symmetry with the rest of the lineup. The Q4 E-Tron is already out there, and the Q6 E-Tron is coming later this year. It certainly makes sense, and when the right new model arrives in 2026, the name E-Tron Q8 already has history behind it.

In addition to prototype images, the photo gallery includes several shots of the current E-Tron S Sportback dancing through different parts of the test area. Even though it’s cold, with the right car it sure looks like a magical place to have fun.


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