Next-gen Audi Q7 to be the brand’s final ICE model: Report [Update]

Update: ‘New Audi Q7 plug-in hybrid’ and ‘Release Date’ sections updated.

Audi has confirmed that all global launches starting in 2026 will be pure electric vehicles. According to a report from German magazine Auto Bild, Ingolstadt’s final global combustion model launch will be the next-gen Audi Q7.

The Q7, under production at the Volkswagen Slovakia plant since the end of 2005, is currently in the second generation. The original model was on sale for about ten years, and we expect a similar life span for the current one. In 2024, Audi could lift the covers off the third-gen Q7, and with that the last Audi Q7 with a tailpipe.

New Audi Q7 plug-in hybrid

The current Q7 was the first Audi model based on the second-generation modular longitudinal platform (MLB evo platform) when it debuted in December 2014. For the third-gen Q7, Audi will likely optimize costs and carry over the platform with upgrades. The next-gen Q7 should have electrification across variants, with plug-in hybrids offering a practical EV range of more than 50 miles (80 km) on the WLTP cycle. While BMW’s X5 xDrive45e already boasts of this – 55 miles (88 km)*, Q7 customers (Q7 60 TFSI e) are currently stuck with just 25 miles (40 km)* of zero-emissions range.

Audi Q7 TFSI e PHEV charging
The current-gen Audi Q7 PHEV, which is unavailable in the U.S., has a very limited EV mode range (WLTP) of 25 miles (40 km)*. Image Source: Audi

*WLTP electric range in Germany

The next-gen Audi Q7’s engines would need to comply with the more stringent Euro 7 emission norms in Europe. Instead of developing Euro 7 V8 engines for the most performance-focused variants, Audi engineers may fix up V6 engines with improved electric power and torque. CEO Markus Duesmann has said that the company’s last internal combustion engine will be the best it has ever built, and this unit should find its way into the Q7. The mid-range and basic variants may have V6 and inline-four mills with 48-volt mild-hybrid tech.

The next-gen Q7 plug-in hybrid may get one of Audi’s last new internal combustion engines. Oliver Hoffmann, BoM member responsible for Technical Development, Audi, talked about these engines at the Audi Annual Media Conference on March 17, 2022. He said that the company’s updated engines won’t arrive before 2025. That means the next-gen Q7, including the next-gen Q7 PHEV, could adopt the new engines later during their lifecycle.

In mid-2025, an updated generation of combustion engines will come, part electric as well —mild-hybrid and PHEV. And then these will come for the second half of the decade, clearly increasing the performance and the efficiency there.

Oliver Hoffmann, BoM member responsible for Technical Development, Audi (Audi Annual Media Conference on March 17, 2022)

New Audi Q7 Design

It’s too early to have conclusive descriptions of the next-gen Q7’s design, but illustrator Lars Saltzer’s spectacular rendering for Auto Bild has excited us. The render (set as the story’s featured image) borrows inspiration from the smaller, all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron but presents the new design theme aggressively.

The wider, octagonal Singleframe, the noticeably slimmer and sharper headlamps with a vertical extension on their outer ends, the tall side air inlets, and the edgier and bolder bumper give a very brawny and sophisticated look to the SUV. This striking appearance is a massive departure from the current Q7’s face, which barely reflects power or style in 2022. The rendering shows virtual mirrors, but we are yet to know whether Audi plans to offer that feature on ICE models.

Release date

The next-gen Audi Q7 could arrive sometime in 2024. Unlike the current-gen Q7 PHEV, the next-gen model will likely be available in the U.S market. While the Q7 will continue as an ICE model in the next generation, its SUV-coupe cousin, the Audi Q8, will go all-electric. Production of the Audi Q8 e-tron will take place in Brussels, Belgium.

Audi electrification strategy

Audi has allocated about EUR 18 billion for electrification, including hybridization, between 2022 and 2026. In 2021, 10.7% of the company’s annual sales came from vehicles specified with a pure electric or partially electric (hybrid) powertrain. By 2025, Audi has said that it will expand its EV portfolio to over 20 models, and all the new model launches for the global market from 2026 will be EVs. The company plans to gradually phase out the production of internal combustion engines by 2033. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030 from the 2018 level. The Q7 should go all-electric eventually.

Expect to see the new Q7 in showrooms worldwide in 2025.

Featured Image Source: AutoBild/Yumpu