While Audi is moving quickly to a fully electric future in every car category, it still has a few internal-combustion models to get out the door before making a complete transition. One of those is the Audi Q5, which, having last been fully redesigned for the 2018 model year, is starting to show its age. That new compact luxury SUV has been caught in these spy photos with crisp styling that looks surprisingly akin to the similarly sized Q6 E-Tron that’s also on the way.
It’s clear this is a combustion Audi by two key features. The front grille has huge openings for cooling an engine, and the rear has some exhaust tips. Looking past the camouflage, the Q5 clearly has Audi’s familial hexagonal grille, but it’s much wider and less tall than on the current model. It’s flanked by wide, scowling headlights and tall side intakes, possibly for creating aerodynamic air curtains.
In profile and from the rear, the Q5 looks remarkably like the Q6 E-Tron. It has crisp edges for its character lines, and generally has a lower, sleeker shape than the current Q5. Even the slim taillights and window openings are similar. This is interesting since we’ve expected the Q6 E-Tron to be based on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) design that will be shared with the upcoming Porsche Macan EV. The Macan EV is not expected to have an internal combustion model based on the same platform, rather the gas-powered Porsche will continue on the current chassis. So we’re curious to see if they’re just very similarly styled with different platforms, or if Audi may have found a way to stick an engine and fuel tank into the PPE.
Reportedly, the next-generation Q5 will be the last of the fully redesigned combustion Audis, coming around 2025. After that introduction, Audi will gradually phase out its internal combustion models. It also means that we still have a while before we’ll see this SUV revealed. But it also gives us plenty of time to see less camouflaged models in spy photos.