A disguised prototype version of the new Audi Q5 has been spotted testing on mountain roads in the Alps, giving a clear indication of the model’s comprehensive redesign.
Set to be the third-generation version of Audi’s best-selling global model, the Q5 will also be one of the German car maker’s final ICE cars.
Pictured with a black and white camouflage livery obscuring much of its exterior design, the prototype features new taillights and a completely revised front end look suggest the Q5 will be brought more in line with its newer stablemates, including the electric E-tron models.
The totally overhauled front end resembles a clamshell-style bonnet, a shorter grille, sleek new headlights and new air-intake designs.
At the rear, meanwhile, the Q5 looks to have been modelled on the Audi Q4 E-tron, although the brake lights in situ here look to be temporary items for the purposes of testing.
The success of the Q5 peaked in 2021, with global sales soaring by 5.3% to 293,069 representing nearly a sixth of the four-brand Audi Group's total deliveries.
It remains vitally important for the German brand five years on from being launched in its current form.
The next iteration, which has started winter testing ahead of an anticipated 2023 unveiling and 2024 market launch, will look to maintain that sales momentum by providing a conventional ICE alternative to the similarly sized Audi Q6 E-tron electric SUV, which will arrive next year.
The new Q5 is expected to use the same evolution of the Volkswagen Group's MLB architecture that will underpin the next-generation Audi A4 saloon and estate.
That means it will offer both front and four-wheel-drive drivetrain layouts and is likely to continue with a familiar powertrain line-up comprising mild-hybrid petrol and diesel options alongside a choice of plug-in hybrids.