We’ve been spying on the third-generation Audi Q5 since March but these are the best shots yet of Ingolstadt’s fully redesigned luxury crossover. Featuring the production body still covered in camouflage, the test vehicle appears to be hiding a design derived from the latest crop of EVs carrying the fabled Four Rings. The dual exhaust tips make it crystal clear we’re dealing with a prototype powered by a good ol’ combustion engine.
You’re looking at the very last Q5 to come with ICEs since the German brand will launch only electric vehicles from 2026. While the prototype does have the full production body and final headlights, the basic taillights are a provisional setup. We’re getting the impression Audi is masking an LED light bar extending over the entire tailgate. Speaking of which, the Q5’s signature wraparound tailgate will be replaced by a narrower panel.
Another prototype that was spotted next to the current Q5 leads us to believe the next-gen vehicle will be a tad slower. However, the difference in height might stem from a stiffer suspension setup for the next-gen Q5. It could be an S-Line version, which would explain the red brake calipers. The other test vehicle caught on the road had surprisingly large exhaust tips, and we’re hoping they’re real since Audi has had some ghastly fake exhausts in recent years.
Some of the spy shots provide a peek inside the fully redesigned cabin with a tablet-like infotainment sticking out from the center console. There’s an unusually large Quattro logo mounted below the touchscreen, and we’re noticing a few physical buttons ahead of the red emergency button. Like the big screen, the driver’s digital instrument cluster isn’t incorporated into the dashboard either as it sticks out as well. Overall, the dash layout is shared with the next-gen A4.
Audi has refrained from giving the Q5 the RS treatment, but maybe it will happen this time around to go after the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and the BMW X3 M. If Audi Sport is planning a high-performance version, don’t be too surprised if it’ll have a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Electrification is the only way to go for sporty versions to meet increasingly stringent emissions regulations in the European Union.
The current Q5 was unveiled in October 2016, which tells us its replacement will be unveiled at some point next year.