2015 Audi Q7 spy shots
The original proposal was deemed too aggressive when Wolfgang Egger took over the design reigns at Audi back in 2011, and the subsequent redesign has led to the delay. The prototype in these latest shots shows clear influences from 2012’s Crosslane concept car, in particular its imposing grille which may even be integrated with the vehicle structure.
Another reason for the tardiness is that the new Q7, now due next fall, as a 2015 model, will ride on the Volkswagen Group’s third-generation SUV platform. The platform, derived from the car-based MLB architecture, will spawn both the 2015 Q7 and a Bentley SUV due in 2016. In shortened form it will also feature in the next-generation VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne as well as a Lamborghini SUV due in 2017.
The adoption of the new platform will allow Audi engineers to shed some 650 pounds from the curb weight of the current Q7, which tips the scales at more than 5,300 pounds in its lightest variation. The weight savings will come from the use of aluminum and even some composite materials in the vehicle’s construction as well as the use of smaller engines in line with Audi’s downsizing principle.
Engines in the U.S. market will include 3.0-liter and 4.0-liter TFSI units and a 3.0-liter TDI. A plug-in hybrid model is also due, as confirmed previously by Audi CEO Rupert Stadler. Two versions of the plug-in hybrid Q7 may be launched, one incorporating the 3.0-liter TFSI mill and the other the 3.0-liter TDI. Both should feature e-tron badging and an all-electric range of about 18 miles, though the TDI diesel-electric hybrid is unlikely to reach these shores.
Expect Audi’s usual elegant designs for the interior. A third-row seating option should be available along with 4G LTE connectivity.
Stay tuned for updates as development progresses.