Just about every luxury automaker has a large crossover and SUV in their line-up these days. Even ultra-luxury marques like Bentley and Rolls-Royce are in on it too, along with exotic car manufacturers. But one of the first to get in the game is Audi.
Audi already has the Q7 and Q8, but BMW recently launched an even larger model: the X7. Even Mercedes-Benz has the larger GLS.
The Ingolstadt-based automaker won't be taking it sitting down, and here's the indicator: they have trademarked a new name, and that's the Audi Q9.
If we were to follow Audi's nomenclature, that would suggest an even larger crossover than the already sizable Q7. The filing of the name is fairly recent too, dated February 26, 2020.
Audi has been missing out on the full-sized luxury crossover market lately. Mercedes-Benz was the first out the gate with their GL way back in 2006 and was subsequently renamed GLS in 2016. BMW followed suit in 2018 with the X7.
Perhaps the reason why Audi did not immediately come up with a crossover of that size is because of fellow VW Group member Bentley, who makes the Bentayga. But seeing how different the stratification is for Bentley and Audi, it is likely that introducing a Bentayga-sized crossover for the latter won't risk cannibalizing sales for the previous.
So far there haven't been any spy shots of the Q9 just yet. This trademark registration could simply mean that Audi wants to keep that name for themselves. On the flip side, it could also suggest that the crossover is far in development at this point. If so, it might be introduced sometime in 2021 or early in 2022.
Should the Q9 be introduced by then, it should be a good one given how Mercedes-Benz and BMW have had a full-sized crossover for quite some time now. Given how well the GLS and X7 have been selling in key markets, it does suggest to Audi that there's definitely room for another ultra-luxury crossover.
Note: The vehicle in the main photo is the facelifted Audi Q7.