- Still in the early stages of testing
- Could be the seven-seat offering
With SUVs being the current favourite body style, it doesn’t come as a surprise when you spot a manufacturer out testing newer high-riding models now and then. Audi has tasted substantial success with its Q line-up, with a current lineup of six models (including an EV). And now, there could be a new one joining the family as our spy sleuths caught a full-size SUV testing in the snow.
In the early stages of development, the new Audi SUV seen here could be the new seven-seater model that would be positioned above the Q7. And as the naming strategy for Audi goes it could be christened as the Q9. For the uninitiated, even numbers denote a coupe SUV – like the Q4 and Q8, while the odd ones are the standard SUVs.
With a full-size SUV in its portfolio, Audi could leverage some space in American markets amongst the gargantuan models sold there and also take on its German counterparts viz. Mercedes-Benz GLS and BMW X7. Moreover, the longer wheelbase with an upright D-pillar and large glasshouse hint at the large space on the inside, with a practical luggage compartment and enough space for three-row of seats.
There’re rudimentary headlamps seen here on the test prototype while the gaping grille only gives out the outline and nothing more. Seen from the rear three quarters, the hidden tail lamps appear to be borrowed from the Q7 and completed with a larger tailgate, massive bumpers and prominent wheel arches. There will be a familiar setting on the inside, or Audi could try and take the game forward since this would be the flagship offering from the Ingolstadt-based carmaker.
When it will arrive in production guise either later this year or sometime in 2022, the Q9 would most likely benefit from a hybrid powertrain working in tandem with the V6 and V8 engines. There would be a full suite of off-road hardware too in conjunction with the Quattro AWD system and a full-blown S and RS version aren’t ruled out either.
First expected to arrive in the Chinese market, Audi’s flagship seven-seater SUV will also make its presence known in the USA. European debut will also follow and we could expect it to promptly make its way to India after the global sales commence.