It looks like Audi is finally entering the full-size SUV segment. Even though the Q9 moniker was trademarked way back in 2013, we haven’t seen much of it during the last decade. Things are finally changing and it looks like the Ingolstadt company prepares different strategies for different markets. On one side, we are about to see a Chinese version, which will feature a rather simple layout, based on the MQB platform, sharing most of its parts with the VW Atlas. That model is expected to come already this year. On the other hand, western markets will probably get a completely different model, which will be part of the e-tron family, which will probably hit the market as the 2022 Audi Q9 E-Tron.
However, keep in mind that the officials are still quiet about the latter scenario, so make sure to take the following paragraphs with a reserve. On the other hand, things are pretty clear in the case of the Chinese version and that model was already spotted on the road a few times.
2022 Audi Q9 – Chinese Version
While the 2022 Audi Q9 E-Tron will be designed primarily for the European and U.S. market, the Chinese version is about to come with a more conventional design approach. For this market, we will see a cheaper and simpler layout, without electrification. That model would ride on the MQB platform, which means that most parts would be shared with VW Atlas.
This platform means that the Chinese Q9 would be a front-wheel-drive car, with a transversally mounted engine. Of course, AWD versions would be offered too, though they wouldn’t feature Audi’s famous Quattro system with Torsen differential, but rather a Haldex system.
Speaking of the engines, we expect that base models would come with a 2.0-liter turbo-four, which puts out around 183 horsepower. The same engine should be offered in a more powerful variant too, with a max output of 217 horsepower. Also, we expect that range-topping versions will come with a 2.5-liter VR6 engine, which puts out 299 horsepower. All three engines should come in pair with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
2022 Audi Q9 E-Tron
On the other hand, we believe that the version for the western markets would be part of the e-tron family. In other words, we expect to see a similar design approach to the Q5 e-tron model, which already debuted last year. First of all, this means that the 2022 Audi Q9 E-Tron would ride on the MEB platform. Of course, the design language would be pretty much the same as in the Q5 e-tron model, especially at the front. Still, this model would come in a much bigger package, with full-size dimensions.
2022 Audi Q9 E-Tron Powertrain
Unlike the Chinese version, this would be a battery-electric vehicle. At this point, we don’t have the numbers but we presume that the overall setup would be similar to the compact sibling. The Q5 e-tron is available in two variants. The base model comes with a single rear electric motor that puts out 201 horsepower. On the other hand, the AWD model gets an additional motor at the front, while the total output goes up to 301 horsepower. We presume that the 2022 Audi Q9 E-Tron would also come in RWD and AWD variants, though the electric motors would feature more power.
We also count on a bigger battery pack, which would provide competitive numbers in terms of max range.
Although it’s still early to talk about details, we may predict some of the most basic things about the 2022 Audi Q9 E-Tron interior. Of course, the dashboard would probably be designed in a typical Audi fashion, with conservative design solutions but tons of tech features. On the other hand, this would probably be the most spacious Audi SUV on the offer, with three rows of seats and the ability to accommodate seven adult passengers. Since the battery will be placed under the floor, we expect respectable cargo volume as well.
2022 Audi Q9 E-Tron Release Date and Price
At this point, we are still waiting for the official confirmation for the 2022 Audi Q9 E-Tron, so we won’t speculate about a more precise launch date and price. On the other hand, the Chinese Q9 is expected to arrive in the second half of the year.