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Our spy photographers have spotted the plug-in hybrid version of the next generation Q7, which will be known as the Audi Q7 e-tron, on public roads in Nurburg, as well as at the famed Nurburgring track.

Aside from a slew of electric warning stickers and filling caps on both rear quarter panels, the plug-in hybrid Q7 doesn’t look too different to the conventionally powered version of the next Q7 that we spotted back in April.

Audi Q7 plug-in hybrid - grille

Compared to that car, the car seen here reveals a different set of headlight internals and gives us with our first glimpse at the new Q7’s tail-lights. Both head- and tail-lights feature Y-shaped elements, similar to those seen on the updated A6.

Stylistically, the next generation Q7 will be an evolution of today’s model. Up front there will be Audi’s trademark single-frame grille, while out the back the new Q7, like the current model, as well as the Q3 and Q5, features a clamshell-style tailgate.

Audi Q7 plug-in hybrid - rear

As we reported earlier, the Q7 e-tron will feature a drivetrain that pairs a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 engine with an electric motor. Together they will produce around 275kW of power and 700Nm of torque.

With a fully charged battery pack the Q7 e-tron will be able to offer around 50km of electric-only motoring. Its fuel economy rating is expected limber below the 4.0L/100km mark.

Audi Q7 plug-in hybrid - side

If there are no major issues highlighted during the tail-end of the development period, the next generation Q7 will debut either at the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015.

The Q7 will be first car from the Volkswagen family to utilise the MLB platform. Featuring a longitudinally laid out engine and front- or all-wheel drive, MLB will one day underpin all Audi models from A4 through to the A8.

Click here to view the rest of our Q7 e-tron spy photos.