There’s no stopping to the SUV expansion as Audi keeps pumping out more and more sports utility vehicles. Yet another one is coming, but its identity is shrouded in mystery because there are conflicting reports regarding what is hiding underneath the camouflage. While most say we are dealing with a new flagship SUV from Ingolstadt, positioned above the Q7 and Q8, others claim it’s a model reserved for the Chinese market.
From what we can tell, it looks larger than the Q7 and therefore it likely offers more legroom in the third row compared to Audi’s largest SUV on sale today. If this is indeed the Q9, although we highly doubt that, our logic tells us it rides on the MLB platform shared with the two Q models mentioned before, as well as with the Bentley Bentayga, Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen Touareg, and the Lamborghini Urus.
But what if we are not looking at the Q9? If that’s the case, the rumor mill indicates it is a less sophisticated offering based on the MQB platform to keep the price more accessible for the People’s Republic. However, we’ve rarely seen Chinese-bound models, be they Audis or not, being tested on the Nordschleife. With the prototype tackling the Green Hell, it might be a new model for North America where fullsize SUVs are popular.
Truth be told, Audi needs to have an answer to the Mercedes GLS and BMW X7, so the launch of a Q9 would make sense in the United States. It’s too early to know whether the Four Rings plans to bring this model to Europe as well, but once again, this new SUV might end up as a China-only affair. The German luxury brand has been tight-lipped about adding a bigger and more luxurious Q model, although rumors about a Q9 have been swirling around the Internet for years.
If we were to bet regarding the prototype’s true identity, we think it’s a more upscale version of the Volkswagen Atlas since the body’s shape bears some resemblance to Wolfsburg’s three-row SUV sold in China as the Teramont X.
Source: CarSpyMedia / YouTube