Audi is not quite done launching cars with combustion engines. Ahead of 2026 when every new product launch with Four Rings will be electric, the third-generation Q5 is expected to come out later this year. There's still testing that needs to be done first, hence why at least two prototypes are currently racking up the miles near the Arctic Circle. Despite the ICE under its bonnet, we're getting the impression the styling takes after the Q4 E-Tron.
Although both prototypes captured on camera had the production body, neither had the final taillights. Those basic circular clusters are certainly a provisional setup to be replaced by slimmer LEDs and possibly a tailgate-mounted lightbar. At the front, we can't help but notice Audi installed large (and fake) air intakes on the sides of the bumper, using the same pattern as the grille.
Next-generation Audi Q5 spy photos
In the second half of the video, a different prototype flaunts generously sized exhaust tips on either side of the rear bumper. That must be an S Line model since the SQ5 has already been spotted with the typical quad arrangement. Audi has refrained from giving the Q5 the RS treatment but maybe it'll happen this time around. Third time's the charm, eh? It's now or never, at least as far as having a high-performance derivative powered by a combustion engine.
With the test vehicles being caught in motion, the cameraman was unable to take a peek inside. However, our most recent set of spy shots from late last year allowed use to glance at the fully redesigned dashboard. It'll have a massive tablet-like infotainment to the right of a rectangular digital instrument cluster. The generous screen real estate has swallowed most conventional controls but the centre console still has some physical buttons.
The new Q5 will largely share its interior with the next-generation A4 also coming this year, possibly as an Avant-only model. Speaking of the estate, an RS4 is planned, and should Audi decide to do an RS Q5 for the first time, both are likely to share a plug-in hybrid setup.