Audi has begun their development for the next generation Q7 SUV and our spies have managed to snag a few photos of a mule when it was out doing cold weather testing.

Audi has begun their development for the next generation Q7 SUV and our spies have managed to snag a few photos of a mule when it was out doing cold weather testing.

It is wearing the body of the current generation Q7 V12 TDI, easily identifiable by the huge air intakes on the front fascia. It appears the front overhang on this model is a little shorter and the fenders have a little more beef to them. At the rear end, we also see the extended length of the exhaust pipes that poke out either side of the centrally mounted diffuser.

When final styling is launched we expect to see Audi re-invent its SUV, possibly favoring a sleeker and sportier design over the bulky current model - much like the Land Rover Evoque.

Audi intends to put the new Q7 on a heavy diet to shed around 350 kg (771 lbs) off its basic kerb weight with its new MLB-evo platform. The previous generation rode on Volkswagen's PL71 platform which also underpins the Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg.

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