2023 Audi Q7 facelift looks set to be the last-ever petrol version
A facelifted version of the Audi Q7 SUV is set to arrive in 2023, with a refreshed look and updated tech
- Tweaked bumpers and new Digital Matrix headlights
- Audi to go all-electric by 2026
- Facelifted model to arrive by the end of 2023
Despite undergoing a radical facelift in 2020, Audi thinks its time the Q7 SUV is due another nip and tuck. The facelifted Audi Q7, set to arrive later in 2023, will receive minor cosmetic tweaks over the outgoing model, as well as an upgraded infotainment system and will mark the return of a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain option.
As you can see from our exclusive spy photographs, test mules of the new Q7 have already been spotted out on the roads, giving us a glimpse of what we can expect. Heavy camouflage can be seen covering the bumpers and side skirts, suggesting the new Q7 could look quite a bit different from the one it replaces.
Buyers can expect to see a handful of new aerodynamic trim pieces around the air vent openings as well as a redesigned set of headlights; these will likely use Audi’s Digital LED Matrix technology, which debuted in the A8 limousine and can project chevrons onto the road, indicating your path to other road users.
Stepping inside and the Audi Q7 already utilises the brand’s latest interior technology which comprises two central touchscreens, measuring 10.1 and 8.6 inches in diameter, as well as a 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster. We don’t expect this setup to change all too much for the facelift, however, the new Q7 could receive a software update as well as added functionality for the ‘my Audi’ smartphone app.
Other interior changes could come in the form of the latest iteration of the Audi steering wheel, as seen in the new electric Audi Q8 e-tron, which integrates gloss black accents for the controls. New seat upholstery colours could be added, too, as buyers currently only have the option of a black interior unless they opt for the base Sport model or the range-topping Vorsprung.
Things are likely to go unchanged under the bonnet; all versions of the Q7 – bar the high-performance Audi SQ7 – already benefit from 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance. Buyers currently have a choice of either two diesel models and one petrol, although we could potentially see one of the diesels discontinued as the fuel continues to dwindle in popularity.
The biggest powertrain-related change is likely to come in the return of the plug-in hybrid Q7; instead of the old model’s 14.1kWh battery which only offered a disappointing 26 miles of pure-electric range, a larger 17.9kWh unit from the Audi A7 could be used. In that car, you can travel up to 40 miles before the petrol engine kicks in – although, the Q7 will likely offer slightly less range due to its bulky and less-aerodynamic shape.
What does this mean for car buyers?
The seven-seater Audi Q7 currently sits towards the top of the Ingolstadt-based brand’s lineup, alongside the five-seat Audi Q8. While the combustion-engined luxury SUV segment is still thriving with models such as the new Range Rover and BMW X7, the Volvo XC90 is set to be replaced eventually by the new all-electric EX90.
Therefore, it’s likely that this facelift for the second-generation Audi Q7 is to be the last iteration of the brand’s seven-seater SUV to be petrol-powered. Audi has been clear regarding its intentions to go electric-only after 2026 and it recently unveiled the Audi Q8 e-tron to sit alongside the petrol Q8 in the lineup, which will likely act as its eventual replacement. Therefore, we could see a Q7 e-tron arrive in the near future as well, also almost certainly destined to replace the regular Q7.
For now, we can only wait until the facelifted Audi Q7 arrives later in 2023. Audi has thus far remained tight-lipped about this new model, but we expect it to demand a small premium over the current car’s £58,685 starting price when it eventually goes on sale.
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