2025 Audi Q9: Everything We Know About the Brand's New Flagship SUV

2025 Audi Q9 - Rendering 11 photos
Photo: Kolesa
2025 Audi Q9 - Rendering2025 Audi Q9 - Rendering2025 Audi Q9 - Rendering2025 Audi Q9 - Rendering2025 Audi Q9 - Rendering2025 Audi Q9 - Prototype2025 Audi Q9 - Prototype2025 Audi Q9 - Prototype2025 Audi Q9 - Prototype2025 Audi Q9 - Prototype
In the never-ending chase of expanding its reach with new vehicles, Audi has somehow lost ground to Mercedes and BMW. And no, we are not talking about the former's two-door GT or SL series or the latter's Z4, which was made in partnership with Toyota, but about a flagship crossover.
You see, Mercedes first tapped into this class in the mid-2000s with the original GL. The second generation followed in 2012, with a rebranding as the GLS for the mid-cycle refresh, and now it is in the third generation. BMW also offers a rival to the likes of the GLS in the form of the X7, but Audi doesn't. Not yet, anyway, as they are currently prepping the Q9.

As a long-overdue model, the Audi Q9 is in the testing and fine-tuning phase of its development. It will sit above the Q7 in the brand's lineup, taking on the flagship crossover role. It will make use of familiar underpinnings and common powertrains wrapped in an instantly recognizable package that will be sprinkled with the latest technology gear, comfort features, and safety systems.

If Split Headlamps Aren't Your Thing, Then Scroll Down

More and more automakers, especially premium ones, have gone for split headlamps when it comes to certain models. The upcoming Audi Q9 follows this route, too, and while we don't necessarily think it's a good idea, at least this high-rider looks kind of sleek with the slender DRLs positioned above the main clusters. It also has a large grille, albeit not as big as some of the company's past and present models, and a wide air intake in the bumper with a honeycomb pattern.

2025 Audi Q9 \- Rendering
Photo: Kolesa
The Ingolstadt brand also went for a clamshell-like hood that protrudes into the front fenders and ends right above the LED DRLs and four-ring-branded grille. The scooped testers still had their provisional taillamps, though we think Kolesa may be on to something here with the renderings shared above that we dedicated an entire story to earlier in the week. That doesn't mean they're spot on, but they could look similar. We'd take the rear bumper design with a pinch of salt, too, as we think it will be different.

Previous scoops have revealed the Audi Q9 from multiple angles, including from the sides. You might think that there's nothing important to report on here, but you'd be wrong. You see, the spied prototypes with their camouflaged exteriors have revealed that the roofline is only a tiny bit arched towards the rear. This tells us that it will be spacious for those sitting at the back when it comes to the headroom. The front and rear overhangs are normal for a car in this class.

Spacious Interior With Room for the Entire Family

The Audi Q7 has always been a bit bigger than its BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE rivals, thus stepping on the line of the superior segment. As a result, it is safe to assume that the Q9 will significantly improve this aspect. It will have a spacious second row and a third row of seats behind it, yet it is possible that the latter will be mostly suitable for kids. Either way, we wouldn't recommend taking your loved ones on a long drive and making them sit there, as they will certainly not feel comfortable at all.

Headroom should be more than sufficient, and we expect the model to have a very large cargo area with the third-row folded flat, joined by additional storage scattered throughout the cabin, like the usual bins and so on. We'd also look for a tablet-like infotainment system to dominate the dashboard, perhaps in two sizes, with the largest being reserved for the upper grades. All versions will likely get digital dials, a wireless charging pad, ambient lighting, smartphone integration, heated front seats, multi-zone climate control, and so on. It is worth noting that we have yet to catch a glimpse of the interior, so you should take these two paragraphs with a pinch of salt.

2025 Audi Q9 \- Rendering
Photo: Kolesa

Familiar Underpinnings and the Usual Powertrain Lineup

Even though it won't be long until Audi introduces the Q9, exact details about the construction and engine lineup are yet to be revealed. Nevertheless, various outlets speak of an upgraded variant of the MLB platform, the same one that will underpin the upcoming Audi A5 (current A4 successor). Expect the Ingolstadt brand's engineers to pay extra care to the chassis tune, as we believe this model will be one of the most comfortable in the segment. Thus, don't expect to take on a twisty mountain road in it, at least not in the regular flavors.

You will have to wait for the Audi SQ9 to launch for that, as besides the stiffer suspension, uprated brakes, sporty bumpers, S logos, front bucket seats, and so on, it will also be the punchiest of the lot. Rumor says it might get a V8 gasoline unit with twin turbos, and it is too early to tell whether it will feature partial electrification. Lesser models are expected to have mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid assemblies, and Europeans will probably be able to buy the Q9 with the ubiquitous 2.0L TDI diesel engine in at least two outputs. Quattro all-wheel drive will likely be standard, and all models will get a dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Launch Date and Availability

This is a necessary paragraph, even if we don't know exactly when the Audi Q9 will premiere. Some say it will be due early next year; others believe it might debut a bit sooner or perhaps later. Our money would be on it launching in the United States for the 2026 model year. As for the availability part, we expect it to make its way to dealers in Europe first, followed by the United States, where it is rumored to start at around $90,000. Australia might also get it, alongside some parts of Asia, where large models are very popular indeed. So, are you excited about Audi finally launching a BMW X7 and Mercedes GLS rival?
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Editor's note: Renderings via Kolesa

Spy shots courtesy of Baldauf

About the author: Cristian Gnaticov
Cristian Gnaticov profile photo

After a series of unfortunate events put an end to Cristian's dream of entering a custom built & tuned old-school Dacia into a rally competition, he moved on to drive press cars and write for a living. He's worked for several automotive online journals and now he's back at autoevolution after his first tour in the mid-2000s.
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