The second generation Audi Q7 has made a comeback in a fresh set of very revealing spy shots.
Audi unveiled last week at the Los Angeles Auto show the Prologue concept which paves the way for a new styling direction. However, the Q7 full-size SUV was developed before March Lichte was named Audi's design chief so the vehicle's styling doesn't boast the Prologue-inspired design as the first car to inaugurate the fresh appearance will be the next-gen A8 set to arrive late 2016.
The Audi Q7 prototype spotted here adopts an evolutionary design and looks less bulky than the outgoing generation but the styling will likely be criticized by many since it features many similarities with the model is set to replace. There's camouflage only on the upper part of the front grille as well as on the headlights & taillights while the observable metal appears to be sharper but far from being a novelty.
Set to be offered with optional matrix LED headlights, the overhauled Audi Q7 will go on a significant diet estimated at around 363 kg (800 lbs) and will likely feature standard LED taillights. On the inside there will be a new four-spoke steering wheel, larger touchpad, digital dials (not confirmed) and a controversial free-standing touchscreen display.
Expect power to come from updated six- and eight-cylinder engines along with a rumored SQ7 pairing a twin-turbo V6 3.0-liter TDI with an electric turbocharger and a lithium-ion battery. It's a system borrowed from the RS5 TDI concept where it delivers 385 HP (283 kW) and 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) but the SQ7 will be significantly heavier so expect a major power bump to match the bulk. There should also be a more frugal e-tron plug-in hybrid derivative featuring a 3.0-liter V6 TDI with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. It will allegedly have a fuel consumption of less than 4 liters / 100 km (58.8 mpg US / 70.6 mpg UK) and do 31 miles (50 km) on electric power.
Audi could decide to bring the overhauled Q7 to NAIAS in January or wait until March for the Geneva Motor Show. The model will also form the basis of a more coupe-styled Q8 set to go on sale within the next three years to compete with the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe.