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Audi is trying to reduce the commonality of design that is found in its current lineup.

Audi design chief Marc Lichte has confirmed the next A6 will borrow styling cues from the Prologue concept (pictured) that was introduced last month at the Los Angeles Motor Show.The Prologue-inspired styling will help the A6 stand out from smaller members of the Audi family like the A3 and the A4. The automaker has previously confirmed that it will differentiate its larger cars, its smaller cars and its SUVs in order to reduce the commonality of design that is found in its current lineup.

The new A6 will share its MLB platform with a number of Volkswagen Group products including the 2016 Q7, the replacement for the current A8 and the next Volkswagen Phaeton. Like the current model, it will be offered with a host of gasoline- and diesel-burning four- and six-cylinder engines and buyers will be asked to choose between front- and all-wheel drive. A plug-in hybrid model will almost certainly round out the lineup.

The MLB platform and an aluminum-intensive construction will help make the next A6 considerably lighter and more efficient than the current model.

The fifth-generation Audi A6 will be introduced at a major auto show in late 2016 or early 2017 and go on sale shortly after. Audi's next design language will be inaugurated by the fourth-generation A8 that will make its global debut in early 2016.

Photos by Brian Williams.