Audi has filed an application to trademark the “Q9” badge, suggesting a new flagship model to take on the Mercedes-Benz GLS and BMW X7 could on the cards.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the trademark application was filed with the Deutsche Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA) in Germany back in late February 2020. Interestingly, the Ingolstadt-based firm trademarked the Q9 badge in some other markets as long ago as 2013.

If the Q9 does indeed make it to production, it’d obviously slot in above the Q7 and Q8, with the aforementioned GLS and X7 firmly in its sights.

An AutoBild report from January 2020 claimed Audi was considering launching a Q9 with three rows of seats, adding a high-performance RS-badged flagship with more than 450 kW from a V8 was also “conceivable”.

We should point out no spy shots have (yet) appeared online, so Audi may well just be preventing other firms from registering the badge. A trademark application is, of course, by no means a guarantee the nameplate will actually be used...