It’s well known Audi is looking at launching a version of its next-generation Q7 with coupe-like styling. To be called the Q8, the model would feature a maximum of five seats while the new Q7 would continue to offer seven seats to further differentiate the two.
But there could be an additional Audi SUV, one wearing a Q9 badge. According to Automotive News (subscription required), the Q9 would ride on a stretched version of the MLB Evo platform debuting in the next-generation Q7 and destined to underpin most of Audi’s lineup from the A4 up. The model would compete against full-size SUVs from rival luxury brands such as the upcoming BMW X7 as well as the Cadillac Escalade, Land Rover Range Rover Long-Wheelbase and the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard of the Q9. Audi has already filed trademarks for the Q9 name and Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has said the company is looking at launching SUV models above the Q7. The reason is strong demand for premium SUVs coming out of China, the Middle East and the U.S.
“We will continue to write this success story and expand our product range from the current 49 to 60 models,” Stadler said last year. “We see a great deal of potential, particularly in the SUV segment and in the especially prestigious full-size category.”
Audi is yet to confirm a Q9 for production, so if given the green light we wouldn’t expect the model in showrooms until after 2017.