You won’t find too many big SUVs in Europe. In the US and Asia, it is normal to see the Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia, or Chevy Suburban (or Tahoe). German carmakers, as only true rivals to Japanese and American companies, are planning the expansion of their lineups. Audi Q9 will be a monster SUV that is larger and heavier than any other vehicle in the company. However, it opens many questions.
First of all, drivers in the EU didn’t get used to these vehicles. Driving the five-meter-long SUV in the city area could be problematic, especially when it comes down to parking. Also, fuel consumption can concern enthusiasts. The prices are going up, full-size SUVs will spend more fuel, so the calculation is clear. On the other hand, buyers are interested in these vehicles.
Besides the Audi Q9, we could see soon updates from other companies. BMW made the first step by launching the X7. Volkswagen is preparing the CrossBlue SUV, but it takes a bit too long. Nevertheless, while we are waiting for the Q9 SUV, the German carmaker improves its offer by launching the new Q8.
Biggest SUV in the Audi’s Offer
Dimensions of the Q8 position the SUV in the mid-size segment. To be more competitive, Audi will have to make everything bigger. Well, the market for the full-size SUVs is not explored in Europe yet. So, the new vehicle will have enthusiasts waiting for its release date. But, the concept is not available yet, although we can find renders and fans’ artworks.
Audi registered all names from Q1 to Q9. So, the company will launch all models sooner or later. Currently, they have subcompact, compact, and two mid-size crossovers. The Q8 is kind of coupe-like SUVs, and the Audi Q9 will take the standard look.
Audi Q9 Specs
The Audi Q9 will use either a new V8 engine or some of the existing V6 units. The power output should be around 400 hp to match rivals’ power. Well, an existing 3.0-liter V6 is capable to produce 335 hp and 370 lb-ft of torque. This is good for a base model. Of course, engineers could tune it to produce extra energy, but don’t expect a V6 to go over 350 horsepower.
E-Tron and SQ9
Sooner or later we will see the performance-oriented model, that will be either SQ8 or RS Q8. Either of them is going to be the most powerful unit in the lineup. However, the company is still quiet on this info. The SQ8 is more likely and it will arrive a year after the base Q9.
We can also expect to see the new e-tron technology adapted for the full-size SUV. The future of the automotive industry is in hybrid and electric cars. Audi recognizes that and the first models are available in some markets. In the US we can find the Audi e-tron for $75,000. However, this vehicle will grow and the price will definitely go up for the Q9 SUV.
Audi Q9 Styling
The new SUV will be based on the existing Q8 model. This is the freshest product by the German carmaker. And, it will serve as the base for the upcoming big rig. Well, the new Q9 will add unique details, but the configuration is going to be pretty much the same.
Well, the SUV is not coming to the US market so soon. The interior is going to evolve and bring a lot of advanced features. Also, we expect a three-row layout with seating capacity for seven or eight. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, premium audio are definitely taking a spot in the base package.
Release Date and Price
There is no schedule for the Audi Q9. The SUV is still in development, the Q8 is still new, and the German carmaker has some other unveiled plans for now. So, experts are mostly together in the opinion that the largest model in the lineup won’t be available in next year or two. The Q9 could see the production in 2022.
Meanwhile, we can compare prices to its main rivals. The base BMW X7 costs $75,000. Upper trim level with larger engine adds nearly $20,000, while the performance-oriented M package is over $120k. Expect the same value of the Q9, Q9 with a V8 engine, and SQ9 model. The premium segment has never been bigger and fans will benefit when the new model arrives.