The 2023 Audi Q9 is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV coupe made by Audi. The Audi Q9 is the flagship of the Audi SUV range and is produced at the Volkswagen Bratislava Plant. BMW launched its coupe SUV in 2008, and BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz did the same with the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe in 2015. Audi was never a direct competitor but was planning when the new body style became a sales success for other brands.
The first SUV model under Audi’s new head of design, Marc Lichte, the Q9 will introduce a new design language for the brand’s SUVs. The grille is larger and now has an octagonal shape with both vertical and horizontal slats, and the Q9’s character lines are inspired by the Audi Quattro rally car. For the first time in a crossover or SUV, the Q9 features full laser headlights and taillights. The interior features a buttonless MMI system, three touchscreens, and an enlarged virtual cockpit with an all-digital instrument cluster. Additionally, both tactile and acoustic feedback is provided in response to user inputs.
The Audi Q9 is slightly shorter than the Q7 in both length and height, but slightly wider. It also has less cargo space than the Q7 due to its sloping roofline, and unlike the Q7, the Audi Q8 is not offered with third-row seats. According to Volkswagen Group’s product strategy, the Audi Q8 shares its platform with the Lamborghini Urus, among other products.
While the finer design details are well hidden in these prototypes, it’s impossible to get over the massive size of the new Audi Q9. The massive grille like the latest Audi Q7 and Audi Q8 is easy to spot, along with boxed LED brake lights at the rear. You might think the alloys on this prototype Audi Q9 are pretty small, but you can bet there will be much larger options when the car goes on sale. Top-of-the-line cars should come with wheels up to 23-inches in size, similar to the high-performance Audi RSQ8.
2023 Audi Q9 : Interior
The interior of the Audi Q9 has yet to be spotted, It’s expected to be packed with high-quality materials and plenty of infotainment displays. This will be Audi’s flagship, so it’ll likely have a massive infotainment system, digital dials, and tons of specs, from voice commands to wireless smartphone mirroring. It may also have a separate “captain’s seat” in the rear, as in the BMW X7. A seven-seat configuration may also be possible, especially if Audi wants to get the latest Range Rover, now available with the third row of seats for the first time.
2023 Audi Q9 : Engine
Entry-level cars will likely come with 3.0-liter petrol or diesel V6, while high-spec cars can get a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 petrol engine. Mild hybrid tech, at least, appears to be in the range. A plug-in hybrid version using the same engine as the Porsche Cayenne hybrid is also possible, but don’t expect an all-electric version anytime soon. If you’re looking for a luxury electric SUV, do it with the Audi e-tron instead.
2023 Audi Q9 : Safety
The base model comes with several driver assistants, and more advanced options such as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology and night vision with pedestrian detection are reserved for higher equipment. Our test car had an optional 360-degree camera system that helped us navigate tight passages and not scratch the massive wheels. Key safety features include blind spot, collision warning, automatic braking, lane keeping assist, and lane departure warning.