At the moment, SUVs are far more popular than any other sort of vehicle. It seems as if every brand is pushing for more and more utility vehicles, Audi included. In fact, the brand will introduce two entirely new SUVs this year, the upcoming Audi e-tron and Q8. However, it may want to add another, larger SUV, to keep up with its competition. An Audi Q9.
In terms of sheer size, the Audi Q7 is the brands largest SUV. The Q8 will sit atop the Q7 in terms of being a flagship but it will actually be smaller. And while the Q7 can be had with three rows and seven seats, it’s not a proper seven-seater. For awhile, the Range Rover was the only true premium seven-seater in its class. Then the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class (previously known as the GL) debuted and those two duked it out for awhile. Now, though, there’s another German in the mix, the BMW X7 (pictured above).
The BMW X7 is a first for the Bavarian brand, as it’s never offered a proper three-row SUV before. Like the Audi Q7, the BMW X5, its previous size-leader, could be had with three rows but that third row was purely for the smallest of children. The new X7 can fit adults in the third row, even if they won’t want to stay there for hours. The same can be said about the Mercedes GLS. But Audi lacks a car to take on the X7 and GLS-Class. Though, Audi may not have a choice in the matter.
Such a car could be called the Audi Q9 and sit above both the Q7 and Q8 in terms of both size and luxury, making it a true luxury flagship. We know that Audi’s MLB platform has the ability to create such a large vehicle, as the Bentley Bentayga sits on that platform as well.
An Audi Q9 could share some of the same styling elements as then new Audi A8. So it could look sharp and handsome but understated and luxurious. It could also pack all of the same interior luxury and technology of the A8 and even more. It would be the car that Audi debuts all of its newest technology on, being that it would be the most expensive car in its lineup.
More importantly, though, it would keep Audi in direct competition with its rivals. The Germans don’t like to let each other take hold of any particular segment, so they copycat each other quite a bit. An Audi Q9 wouldn’t allow BMW and Mercedes to fight that segment out alone. And it’s not about the seating or the size, it’s about the luxury and the prestige. Audi shouldn’t want to be seen without a horse in that high-end premium race while its rivals do.
So while an Audi Q9 isn’t in any official plans, we think it should be.