• Image Credit: Abdruck fuer Pressezwecke honora
  • Image Credit: Audi
  • Image Credit: Audi
  • Image Credit: Audi
  • Image Credit: Abdruck fuer Pressezwecke honora
  • Image Credit: Audi
  • Image Credit: Audi
  • Image Credit: Audi
  • Image Credit: Audi
  • Image Credit: Audi
  • Image Credit: Audi
Audi resisted getting into the crossover market altogether until it launched the original Q7 in 2005, and held back from producing a performance crossover until it caved first with the SQ5 and then with the RS Q3, both in 2013. And now that the tide has washed over it, Ingolstadt's next plan, according to Top Gear, is to launch a performance version of the new Q7.

Though it remains unclear whether it would carry the S or RS badge, the performance-oriented version of the new Q7 will surely benefit from the hundreds of pounds in excess weight Audi managed to trim off the latest model over the one it replaces.

Also unclear is whether said hi-po Q7 would go with a diesel or a gasoline engine. The diesel option would more likely go the S route than the full RS, but wouldn't be likely to make it to the States if it were only offered as a diesel. With the SQ5, it's worth noting, Audi offers a TDI diesel version in Europe and a gasoline TSI in North America, so we wouldn't be surprised to see it take a similar approach with the larger model as well.

Whatever it does pack under the hood, though, the SQ7 or RS Q7 would be facing some stiff competition from the likes of the Mercedes GL63 AMG, BMW X5 M and Range Rover Sport SVR – not to mention corporate cousins like the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and upcoming Bentley Bentayga – while giving the Volkswagen group a bigger slice of that exclusive but expanding pie.

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