Spy-Shots of Cars - This image has been optimized for a calibrated screen with a Gamma of 2.2 and a colour temperature og 6500°K

The Audi Q5 has been around for some time now – Ingolstadt’s first compact SUV (following the massive Q7) was launched way back in 2008, with a facelift applied three years ago. It’s high time for a replacement, then; fortunately, our European spies have sighted the next-generation model out testing, indicating that one is coming soon.

It’s clear that Audi is taking a conservative design approach – the new car, expected to be unveiled sometime next year, sports a front fascia that apes the new Q7. There are trapezoidal headlights flanking the six-point single-frame grille; expect the latter to feature a thick silver frame that is connected to the former.

Moving back, the next Q5 appears set to inherit the prominent wheel arch haunches from the Q7, but the side profile and proportions look almost identical to the outgoing car. At the rear, we can see new tail light graphics and dual integrated exhaust exits, but otherwise the rump, too, appears very reminiscent of the current Q5.

Spy-Shots of Cars - This image has been optimized for a calibrated screen with a Gamma of 2.2 and a colour temperature og 6500°K

Elsewhere, the new car should receive a slew of technology from newer Audi models, such as optional matrix beam LED headlights from the facelifted A8 as well as the new TT’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster.

Also expect the next Q5 to ride on the updated MLB Evo platform underpinning the new A4 and Q7, which, like its latest siblings, should help it save around 100 kg in weight. Also on the cards are the usual four- and six-cylinder turbocharged engines, as well as an e-tron plug-in hybrid variant previewed by the TT Offroad Concept that uses twin electric motors – one at the front, another at the rear – to provide all-wheel drive.