It’s been nearly a year since our spies caught the next-generation Audi SQ5 and now the hot crossover is back in a fresh set of photos. Spotted near and at the Nürburgring, the BMW X3 M40i rival looks different than before since it finally has all the production body panels in place as well as the final lights both front and rear. As with the other S models, it's rocking a quad exhaust system, which we're hoping is for real this time around.

Those black alloy wheels are on the small side but it's likely because the prototype still had winter tyres. Expect the production model to offer a variety of bigger alloy sets with a nicer design. As with the regular Q5, the performance version appears to borrow design cues from the fully electric Q4 E-Tron but obviously with a functional grille to cool down the combustion engine. The air intakes on the sides of the bumper seem to serve a purpose since they’re not entirely blocked out.

Next-gen Audi SQ5 spy photos

Although the prototype is fully camouflaged, we can notice the clamshell tailgate is gone since it doesn't fully contain the taillights anymore. Consequently, the opening is likely a tad narrower now but it appears wide enough to load/unload more voluminous cargo. It's also easy to observe Audi has installed considerably slimmer taillights, and the disguised tailgate seems to be hiding a light bar because these are apparently mandatory in 2023.

Photos showing the interior are not available in this set, but a different Q5 prototype was spotted at the end of last year showing its screen-heavy dashboard. Unfortunately, the infotainment will once again be a screen sticking out from the centre console, and it'll be even larger than on the outgoing model. Audi won't integrate the digital instrument cluster into the dash anymore as that test vehicle had a standalone display akin to the Volkswagen ID.4.

Next-generation Audi Q5 spy photo

2024 Audi Q5 prototype interior

Next-generation Audi Q5 spy photo

2024 Audi Q5 prototype interior

This will be the last Audi Q5 generation powered by combustion engines as the Four Rings have already announced all new product launches from 2026 will be EVs. Expect an assortment of four-cylinder petrol and diesel units made cleaner to comply with Euro 7 regulations arriving later this year. It's unclear whether the SQ5 will keep its V6 engine or downsize to a four-banger. Another piece of the puzzle we’re missing is whether the folks from Ingolstadt will finally launch an RS Q5 to take on the X3 M and AMG GLC 63.

Expect the standard Audi Q5 to break cover later this year, with the spicy SQ5 likely to follow in 2024.