Audi Q5 (2016): the Mk2 crossover goes X3 baiting

Published: 12 August 2015

► First sight of next Q5
► Fresh spyshots
► New crossover due 2016 

The second-generation Audi Q5 will arrive in 2016 and our spies have caught it on test in Spain - just weeks before we see a concept for its sportier coupe-inspired Q6 sibling at the Frankfurt motor show.

The car is switching from its pricey berth of Ingolstadt to be built at San José Chiapa in Mexico. Why the change? Unsurprisingly, wages are notably lower in Mexico, where Audi will in total create up to 20,000 new jobs. Critics nonetheless question the viability of this move. After all, building a high-yield product in a faraway greenfield factory does not make quality control any easier.

The initial capacity is 150,000 units a year - the Q5 has sold strongly in most markets around the world - but fresh investment 12 months later should bring the proposed, pricier Q6 to be built alongside the Q5. This is significant: it means the Q5 can continue as an Audi-slick, family-oriented SUV, while the Q6 hoovers up the sportier coupe-influenced crossover market.

Even though the Audi Q5 is arguably one of the best-looking crossovers currently on sale, the follow-up model will be redesigned from scratch. Here’s what we know about the new 2016 Audi Q5.

Audi Q5 (2016): specs, details

The new Q5 is set to compete against the Mercedes GLC, BMW X3 and Range Rover Evoque - as well as in-house rival, the closely related Porsche Macan made over in Leipzig.

The big news is the arrival of the more adavanced MLBevo platform architecture - which is bound to help make Audi’s new Q5 mid-size crossover model lighter, better handling and more efficient overall. Front- and four-wheel drive powertrains are scheduled.

The new 2016 Audi Q5

Key engines are:

  • Q5 2.0 TFSI 245bhp/273lb ft
  • Q5 2.0 TDI 190bhp/295lb ft
  • Q5 3.0 V6 TDI 272bhp/443lb ft
  • Q5 3.0 V6 TDI 354bhp/516lb ft

The latter includes a third turbocharger - an electric E-boost device designed to beef up the torque curve from the word go.

High-performance Audi SQ5 and Q5 RS are coming - and a hybrid

While the upcoming 340bhp Audi SQ5 should fight neck and neck with the 340bhp Macan S, the brand-new 450bhp Q5 RS reportedly has a numerical performance edge over the 400bhp Macan Turbo. Both high-end Audi crossovers will be equipped with the super-smooth eight-speed automatic.

At the leading edge of the mpg scale, we should find the Q5 e-tron quattro ultra which is Audispeak for its latest plug-in hybrid. The PHEV model will pair a 252bhp/273lb ft 2.0-litre four with a 109bhp/221lb ft electric motor - same receipe as compiled by the BMW chefs for the next X3, but a little spicier overall. What price for a greener conscience? In both cases, analysts predict a PHEV premium of about €3500 (£3000).

New tech galore on 2016 Audi Q5

If the customer so requires, Audi will install matrix headlights (LED or laser), wheelarch-filling 20 or 21in footwear, a more extensive S-line livery and a matt paint job. Inside, we find a fully flexible TT-type main instrument binnacle, direct-access Drive Select via a steering-wheel button and a more innovative infotainment system conceived together with Google.

We expect to see the new Q5 at the Paris motor show in September 2016.

New Q5 switches to Mexico

By Georg Kacher

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

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