By Drew Johnson
Monday, Oct 13th, 2014 @ 1:05 am
 
A new report finds the second generation of Audi's seven-seater Q7 crossover will be unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show that will open its doors next January.
Audi is keeping details about the second-gen Q7 under wraps, but our spy photographers nabbed the first images of Ingolstadt's biggest crossover back in August. The spy shots hint the Q7 will adopt a more conservative overall design that borrows styling cues from the new third-gen TT. LED headlights like those seen on the A8 flagship and a thin rendition of Audi's trademarked single frame grille will be part of the package.

The 2016 Audi Q7 will make use of Volkswagen's MLB modular architecture, resulting in a smaller footprint and a much lighter curb weight. In fact, insiders say the next Q7 will shed up to 800 pounds, a diet that will considerably improve fuel economy all across the board.

Both gas and diesel powertrains are expected, with the 2016 Q7 likely to make use of Audi's upcoming ten-speed dual-clutch transmission. The ten-speed unit will eventually be offered in a number of other Audi-badged vehicles. A performance-focused SQ7 TDI will pack Audi's first production electric turbocharger when it lands in 2016.

The Q7 will go on sale shortly after it debuts in America's Motor City. That will mark the end of a particularly long run for the current Q7, which went into production in 2006 and was lightly refreshed for the 2010 model year.

What's Next?
Audi is planning to launch at least two new crossovers in the coming years, which will allow the German automaker to reposition the Q7. A smaller, long-rumored Q6 SUV could help the Q7 move upscale in terms of luxury appointments, while a new flagship Q8 due out around 2017 will push the next-generation Q7 down in overall size.