The BMW X7 and Mercedes GLS face a formidable new challenger.
The reason behind Audi’s delayed release of a full-sized luxury SUV remains a mystery. Despite Mercedes having their GL/GLS in the market since 2006 and BMW introducing the X7 in 2018, Audi has yet to follow suit. However, it seems that this could eventually change. After rumors of a Q9 model have swirled for years, Jeff Mannering, director of Audi Australia, revealed in an interview with CarSales that a top-of-the-line SUV may finally make its debut by 2026.
When questioned about the possibility of introducing a bigger and pricier Q model, Jeff Mannering responded, “Yes, definitely. When you compare our sales volume with other brands, there are certain segments that we are not currently in. Let’s wait and see what unfolds in the next two years.” When prompted to discuss the potential name of the model, Mannering smiled and concurred that “Q9” would indeed be a memorable and appealing choice.
In accordance with recent reports from Automotive News, it has been estimated that the Audi Q9 will make its debut sometime before 2026. It has been revealed that dealers in the United States may have the opportunity to offer this luxurious vehicle as early as 2025. According to a publication released in 2022, the Q9 is expected to be a full-fledged seven-seater SUV designed to provide spacious legroom for passengers in the third row. Its primary markets are predicted to include the United States and China.
Traders in the North American market were first notified about the impending arrival of the Q9 model over a year ago. If all goes according to plan, the Q9 will be one of the final Audi models to be introduced with traditional gasoline engines. By 2026, every car coming out of the Ingolstadt factory will be an electric vehicle. Ultimately, the objective is to completely halt the manufacturing of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars by 2032, with the potential for extending this timeline in China based on the demand in that region.
The Q9 will not be the sole alteration to Audi’s SUV range, as the Q2, which was never meant for the American market, will soon be phased out after just one iteration. In the interim, the all-electric Q6 E-Tron is set to be released this year and will also introduce a more stylish Q6 E-Tron Sportback. Interestingly, Audi currently offers a gasoline-powered version of the Q6 in China as a three-row SUV, causing some confusion.