Audi Q5 (2009)

Published: 09 July 2007

Audi Q5: the lowdown

Porsche and Audi are becoming joined at the hip, it seems. Last month CAR Online revealed that the two car makers would co-develop the next-generation Boxster and R4 sports cars - and now we've got more details of their planned mid-sized SUV. The Q5 is Audi's version of the compact 4x4 and we have the latest spy photos and exclusive artist's impression (above) that spill the beans two years ahed of its arrival in 2009. It's yet another example of why Audi is a brand on a roll. How much of a roll? Well, if all goes according to the plan drawn up by chairman Rupert Stadler, it'll leapfrog BMW and Mercedes to become the biggest premium manufacturer in the world by 2015. For more on the Audi Q5 and Porsche Roxster, read the new August 2007 issue of CAR Magazine

This must be the most bagged-up scoop shot ever!

True - you almost wonder how the driver can see out! But these first shots taken at Audi's Ingolstadt base confirm the scale and proportions of the Q5, a classic five-seater SUV (only the Q7 will offer the family-friendly seven-seat option). At launch, the Q5 will be offered with four- and six-cylinder engines, while the Porsche version - dubbed Roxster - will offer more powerful engines ranging from 300 to 400bhp. Audi's will offer diesel engines, whereas its sister will be exclusively petrol-powered, to begin with at least. In the longer run, both will be available with mild and full hybrid options. By twinning a petrol engine with an electric motor, the Germans are playing their get-out-of-jail-free card in case of a backlash against heavy, conspicuous SUVs.

So are why are Porsche and Audi being so lovey-dovey?

Both partners bring something to the party: Porsche is a widely respected engineering consultancy, while Audi has several specialisms that Zuffenhausen covet - including know-how in aluminium spaceframe chassis, powerful diesel engines, lightweight four-wheel drive systems and dual-clutch transmissions for cars. Now that Porsche is the majority stakeholder in the Volkswagen group, it makes sense to leverage the breadth of its coverage. Forget the glamorous end products, it's economies of scale and clever strategic tie-ups that make Porsche a successful long-term business with a 16 percent profit margin. The Q5 will be built in Ingolstadt, where Audi is investing around $400 million in the project. To keep costs under control, the Q5/Roxster will use many of the engineering architecture under the new A4, which is being unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

For more on the Audi Q5 and Porsche Roxster, read the new August 2007 issue of CAR Magazine

By Georg Kacher

European editor, secrets uncoverer, futurist, first man behind any wheel

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