Crossovers are big business in the modern auto industry, and Audi thinks there is room for one more. These spy shots catch the German premium automaker developing another utility model for its lineup. This one is likely the Q9. As the name implies, it would slot above the Q7 and Q8.
Audi's engineers cover this big rig in lots of camouflage and body cladding to conceal the design. In front, there's a massive grille that sort of reminds of a fish with its mouth open. The headlights are tiny and occupy the upper corners of the vehicle's face.
Gallery: Audi Q9 Spy Shots
The profile view highlights this Audi's large size. The nose is blunt, and the profile has a generally boxy shape. The roofline is mostly flat. We would guess that when the camouflage comes off that there would be some sculpting to the body panels to keep the luxury model from being too slab-sided.
At the back, a spoiler covers the upper portion of the rear glass. The lower portion of the hatchback and bumper have some prominently sculpted elements that add a visual flourish to the tail.
Given the model's size, three rows of seating are likely to be available. Although, there's a trend among ultra-luxurious models like the new Mercedes-Maybach GLS and Land Rover Range Rover SV of offering a two-row layout with massive amounts of legroom for rear occupants. We shouldn't rule out Audi doing something like this, too.
The powertrains available in the Q9 are still a mystery. Given Audi's push towards decreasing emissions, a hybrid and/or plug-in hybrid setup seems likely.
Rumours hint that a debut in 2022 is possible. Also, this vehicle wears the camouflage that Audi uses for models going to China. There's speculation that the brand might sell it in China and in the United States but not in Europe.