Just how high will the numbers go?
This prototype is mostly wearing a Volkswagen Atlas/Teramont body, though it appears production sheetmetal has been used at the front if not production headlights.
Our spy photographers note the camouflage used on this mule spied in Sweden is the same kind used on prototype Audis in China.
It seems unlikely Audi would make a large, three-row SUV a Chinese exclusive, however, considering the potential demand in markets like North America and the Middle East. This isn’t a long-wheelbase A6L, after all.
We don’t yet know what engines will power the Q9, though it’s possible Audi will borrow from the Q8 engine line-up.
The current flagship SUV from the four-ring brand offers a choice of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
Australia has so far missed out on the new Q8 55 TFSI e and 60 TFSI e plug-in hybrids, which mate an electric motor and 17.8kWh lithium-ion battery to the Q8’s 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 and offer 45-47km of electric range.
Reports of an Audi Q9 come after our spy photographers captured a BMW X8 flagship to slot above the X7, while Volvo is reportedly planning an XC100 flagship.
Likely to wear a fastback body, the Mercedes-Benz EQS rival is due in 2024.
It’s expected to use the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) and offer an electric range of 650km. In comparison, an Audi E-Tron GT offers up to 488km of range.