The second-gen Audi Q7 was originally introduced in 2015 but the automaker wants to keep it in the makret for a few more years
January 25, 2023 at 08:33
by Thanos Pappas
With so many e-tron EVs coming our way, we have almost forgotten the ICE-powered Q7 which remains the longest and roomiest SUV in Audi’s lineup. Our spy photographers caught a camouflaged prototype of the second-gen model, revealing that Audi is actively working on another facelift that could further expand the Q7’s lifecycle.
The second generation of the Audi Q7 was introduced in 2015 based on the MLB architecture, with the first facelift following in 2019. Under normal circumstances, we would be expecting an all-new generation to appear in 2023-2024, but Audi opted for a second refresh, in order to keep the existing Q7 relevant for a few more years before the inevitable end of internal combustion engines.
Read: 2024 Audi Q5 SUV Spied Inside And Out Revealing Radical Interior Overhaul
The light camouflage on the prototype does little to hide the styling changes which are predictably focused on the front end. The highlight is the new headlights with a simpler shape that is hugging the revised singleframe grille. This, in combination with the new LED graphics, makes the Q7 look more similar to the Q8 and the e-tron SUVs. Besides the updated grille that trades the chrome-finished vertical slits for a more modern black-finished pattern, the redesigned front bumper also features slimmer air intakes on the sides, similar to the ones on the forthcoming facelifted Q8.
The profile appears to be identical to the current model. Audi is taking advantage of the simplicity of the original design despite the fact it is already 8 years old. At the back, the shape of the lighting units on the tailgate and the bumper appears to be carried over from the first facelift (2019-present). Thus, changes will likely be limited to redesigned trim elements and possibly a different design for the lower section of the rear bumper.
Interior updates are also expected to be limited since the first facelift of the Q7 had already introduced the new layout. We guess that Audi could offer new trim options and update the technology with the latest software while adding more ADAS and connectivity features. Powertrain updates remain a mystery, although the revamped lineup will most likely be focused on electrification, putting more emphasis on mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
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The updated Audi Q7 is expected to debut in 2024, possibly alongside the facelifted Q8 which is mechanically related. Audi has confirmed it will unveil its last ICE-powered model in 2026, before becoming an EV-only brand in 2033.