Audi Prepping New 2026 Q7, Should BMW's X5 Worry About It?

2026 Audi Q7 19 photos
Photo: SH Proshots/autoevolution
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After nine years and two facelifts, the second-generation Audi Q7 is about to drive off into the sunset. The four-ring brand is preparing its successor, which will be more of an evolution than a revolution.
Certain spy shots have tricked most automotive media into thinking the model was the upcoming Q9 flagship, a ride that will finally take on the likes of Mercedes' GLS and the BMW X7. However, the spies have turned out to represent the third-gen Q7, which is the one that has just returned to scoop arena.

This tester was just caught doing its thing next to the Nurburgring. Its entire body was wrapped in trippy camouflage, whose pattern makes it hard to spot some of the design traits. But rest assured, as everything will be new from bumper to bumper. After all, this is an entirely new generation and not a third facelift.

Audi has opted for an entirely new face. The next-generation Q7 sports a dual headlamp signature, with the main clusters sitting below the daytime running lights. It has a shorter and wider grille and a clamshell-like hood compared to its predecessor. The front bumper has cleaner styling, with a wider lower intake and no visible side vents.

2026 Audi Q7
Photo: SH Proshots
The rear license plate still sits on the tailgate. The rear bumper appears to have sleeker styling, or the camouflage could be tricking us. You should ignore the taillamps, as they're provisional units on this prototype. The front and rear overhangs are just as long as before, more or less, and it seems the wheelbase hasn't increased in size by much.

Nevertheless, we expect the upcoming Audi Q7 to have clever packaging, resulting in a slightly more spacious interior. The cargo area should also be superior, albeit not by much. The interior layout is believed to be similar to the Q6 e-tron, so it could get the same 14.5-inch infotainment system and 11.9-inch digital instrument cluster, with Android Automotive being the operating system.

The dashboard could also feature a 10.9-inch passenger display, and other highlights might include a VR assistant, premium audio from Bang & Olufsen, and a head-up display. Users should also expect ambient lighting, the usual premium features, and multiple safety gizmos. The next Q7 will be a more refined proposal in the premium mid-size crossover class.

The powertrain family will include different engine options. It should launch with six-pot gasoline burners, and most (or maybe all) will have mild-hybrid tech. A plug-in version (or more) should also be part of the offering, and Europe will still get the usual diesel proposals. The SQ7 will likely top the family, though this variant might launch a bit later. As for the upcoming Audi Q7, the Ingolstadt marque will reportedly present it in 2026.

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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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