► New Audi Q5 SUV revealed
► Less weight, more space
► On sale in spring 2017
Audi’s been at the tracing paper again and come up with its latest derivative design: the all-new Q5, revealed at the Paris motor show.
To be fair, it’s the firm’s best-selling car worldwide, so perhaps the fact that nothing’s broke with its current styling language means there’s nothing it deems worthy of changing. Launched in 2008, the first-gen models racked up a staggering 1.6million global sales, making it – Audi claims – the world’s most successful premium SUV.
So, it’s understandable that this new model doesn't stay too far from its predecessor’s path.
What are the big changes?
It’s up to 90kg lighter than before, powered by more efficient and more flexible TDI and TFSI four- and six-cylinder engines, and now features go-further air-sprung suspension. The new Q5 will arrive in the UK in early 2017, with prices kicking off around the £35,000 mark.
The initial engine line-up will consist of the following:
- 2.0-litre TDI, 190bhp and 295lb ft
- 2.0-litre TFSI, 252bhp and 273lb ft
- 3.0-litre V6 TDI, 285bhp and 443lb ft
A triple-charged version of the 3.0-litre diesel unit – generating 354bhp and 516lb ft, and featuring an electric supercharger like the SQ7’s engine – will join the line-up later. The economy king, the Q5 e-tron quattro ultra, will also return.
The plug-in hybrid will combine a 2.0-litre TFSI engine, producing 252bhp and 273lb ft with an electric motor that outputs 109bhp and 221lb ft. It will be green and brisk, but is expected to cost an extra £3000 when it arrives within the next 24 months.
Considering one in five of the outgoing model sold in the UK were SQ5s, it’s fair to assume one of those will be along in the future, too...
Extensive use of high-strength steels and aluminium has trimmed the Q5 kerb weight by up to 90kg and its slippery shape results in a class-leading Cd of 0.30.
It’s still a softroader, though, right?
The adoption of five-stage air-sprung suspension – an option on all models – will ensure the Q5 can hold its head up high if waters turn deep – but in keeping with sister VW’s high-tech brave new world, the focus was squarely on connectivity and communication.
The Q5 will be the first of a slew of new models that will harness swarm intelligence to let other driver know about road, weather and traffic conditions. There’s also plenty to keep the techies happy – the Q5 comes with 30 driver assist and safety systems to keep it from interfacing with the scenery, other cars and pedestrians.
Audi’s Q5 will be produced at the company’s new San José Chiapa plant in Mexico. Initial annual production is pegged at around the 150,000 mark, although that will swell further when the proposed Q6 joins the production lines.
It enters a market that has grown over the last five years and contains some very tough rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3, Range Rover Evoque, and the closely related Porsche Macan. Roll on the group test…
Is that all Audi had to shout about?
No, it also showed off its new S5 Sportback, powered by an updated version of Audi’s 3.0-litre turbo V6 that’s good for 355bhp.
That’s a full 40bhp gruntier than the model it replaces, a performance hike helped by an 85kg drop in weight to 1660kg and a slippery drag coefficient of 0.26. It claws its way to 62mph in 4.7seconds and will top out at 155mph.
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