We had doubts about Audi naming this SUV the "Q9" ever since the first spy shots emerged last year. As it turns out, our assumption is turning out to be valid since we're looking at the first-ever Q6. Not to be confused with the upcoming Q6 E-Tron fully electric model, this petrol-fuelled SUV will be built in China exclusively for the local market. What is it? Essentially, a Volkswagen Atlas (Teramont in some countries) wearing a tuxedo.
The official reveal is scheduled to take place later this year, but the cat is out of the bag since Audi has registered the Q6 with China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). Created through the local joint venture with SAIC, the three-row behemoth is 5,099 millimetres (200.7 inches) long, 2,014 mm (79.2 in) wide, and 1,784 mm (70.2 in) tall. It's actually a smidge longer and wider than the VW model while sharing the same 2,980 mm (117.3 in) wheelbase.
Gallery: 2023 Audi Q6 as seen on MIIT
Fun fact – this isn't the biggest vehicle to ride on the MQB platform. That title goes to the VW Talagon, measuring a stately 5,152 mm (202.8 in) while having the same wheelbase as the Atlas/Teramont/Q6. While the Talagon gets V6 power, the new Audi model for China gets a pair of turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engines with Quattro all-wheel drive and automatic transmissions.
The "40 TFSI" model is rated at 228 bhp (170 kilowatts) while the more potent "45 TFSI" packs 262 bhp (195 kW). It certainly won't be the quickest SUV from Audi considering the Q6 weighs a hefty 2,205 kilograms (4,861 pounds). Flat out, MIIT documentation reveals the three-row luxury SUV will reach 129 mph (207 km/h).
Audi will sell the Q6 in China with various alloy wheel designs in sizes from 17 to 21 inches, along with blacked-out badges and different patterns for the glitzy front grille. The design does a good job at hiding the VW Atlas origins as even the greenhouse has been modified to accommodate a different quarter glass. It's not the prettiest car to carry the Four Rings, but then again, it's tricky to make such a large vehicle handsome while being limited by the MQB underpinnings.
The official reveal could take place next month during the Auto China 2022 show in Beijing.