Spied: Is this the Audi Q9?

Editor’s note: This is NOT the Audi Q9. After some talks with an Audi specialist, we looked even more closely at the photos and compared them with the Volkswagen Atlas…and it looks like this is a mule based on a Volkswagen Atlas body with Audi parts such as the front end. The wheel arches/rear fenders and the side rear window resembles the Atlas a lot.

Is this the Audi Q9?

Rumors about a bigger Audi SUV have been around for a long time and now we finally caught what could be the Audi Q9. As for now, we really don’t have any other ideas of what this could be.

We spotted this big and fully camouflaged Audi SUV around the Volkswagen Group’s test facility in Sweden where they are performing cold weather testing. The full size Audi SUV still has prototype head lights up front but we can see what shape they will be. At the back, we can already see the correct rear lights.

Earlier rumors suggested that the Q9 would get a more coupe-like body. The latest information from Germany though says that the Q9 will instead compete against the BMW X7 and the Mercedes GLS and therefore have the more classic SUV shape with 7 seats and a big trunk.

A plug-in hybrid is expected in the Audi Q9 with TFSI e powertrains. Whether the engine of the powertrains would be a 3.0-liter V6 gasoline unit like in the Audi Q7’s 55 TFSI e and 60 TFSI e powertrains or a bigger, 4.0-liter V8 gasoline unit remains to be seen. Audi could be targeting an EV-only range of 50 km from the plug-in hybrid variant.

The launch of the Audi Q9 TFSI e full-size plug-in hybrid electric SUV could take place in 2022.

As you can see the pattern of the camouflage is not what we usually see on Audi prototypes that test in Europe but more the same pattern on the prototypes testing in China. This could indicate that Audi’s Chinese division is doing some of the development unless Audi decides to make the Q9 a China only affair.