Potential Audi Q9 could become new flagship

I don’t want to say we called but… we called it. Awhile back, we asked the question of whether or not Audi should make an SUV to sit atop the Q8, something larger and more luxurious that can take on the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class. Now, we’re hearing rumors that an Audi Q9 is actually being considered by the top brass at Audi.

Autocar recently spoke with Audi CEO Rupert Stadler during the Q8 launch and asked him about a potential Audi Q9, to which he responded “Time will tell.”

Audi Q8

Right now, Stadler is currently suspended from the supervisory board after being arrested on counts of fraud. However, Autocar also posed the question to Audi lead designer Marc Lichte, who said “We have so many ideas, so many ideas…” To us, that seems like Audi has been thinking about a potential Q9 and is seriously considering it. And it makes sense at the moment, with its competitors all having large, uber-luxurious flagship SUVs.

If an Audi Q9 does end up being made, it would be different from other cars in its class, though. For instance, rather than be about luxury and go-anywhere capability, like a Ranger Rover, the Q9 would be more about class-leading technology. Obviously, it would be super luxurious as well but it would focus more on the tech side of luxury, rather than just typical comfy softness.

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There’s also no question that a market exists for such a car. Range Rovers sell like crazy, the Mercedes GLS-Class is another big seller and BMW is making an X7. So there’s certainly market enough for such cars that brands are willing to develop SUVs in the segment. It would also act as a new flagship for Audi, to show off the sort of tech and luxury that it can achieve.

Although, the optics might not be great at the moment. With Audi still coming under fire for the diesel emissions scandal that keeps rearing its head, it might not be the best time for Audi to develop a massively expensive, fuel-sucking SUV. That image could be helped by adding a plug-in hybrid powertrain or a fully-electric e-tron model, though.

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We do believe that Audi will make a Q9 SUV, though. It only makes sense to keep up with its competition and the market is there. Mark our words, an Audi Q9 is on its way eventually.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.