This is Audi’s new Q5 SUV. We’ll see the car officially on 20 April 2008 at the Beijing Motor Show but our artist’s impressions show you - a week early - what to expect. It’s a compact 4x4 designed to take on the BMW X3
and new Mercedes GLK
. Sales will start at the very end of 2008. So what do I need to know about the Audi Q5?
It will be a smaller, more eco-friendly version of the gargantuan Q7. The Q5 sits on a different platform though: there’s no Porsche Cayenne under this body. Instead the Q5 uses the same architecture as the A4 and A5, which means a wheelbase extended to bring the engine further back inside the wheelbase. It's hardly a front/mid-engined SUV though...Isn’t this just another niche-filling Audi?
Well yes, but at least it’s a (fairly) sensible one. It’s a small(er) 4x4 so you don’t feel quite so much guilt, and pump out quite so many emissions as you would when you cruise around in a Q7.
And at least it’s not a convertible… Audi previewed the Q5 with the Cross Cabriolet quattro
, which was a two-door drop-top.Click 'Next' for the full mechanical rundown on the Q5
And the production reality?
Audi has thankfully given the Q5 a full set of A-, B-, C- and D-pillars so there’s now a roof, though a big panoramic glass sunroof will be an option.
The Q5 will only be a five-seater and four-wheel drive will be standard on all cars sending 60 percent of the drive to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions. And unlike the Mercedes GLK, it will come in right-hand drive form.
Expect the engine line-up to mirror the A4, but it’s unclear at this stage whether the 2.7-litre diesel will appear as that’s currently front-wheel drive and mated to a CVT gearbox.Anything else?
Expect LED running lights at the front, a seven-speed twin-clutch ‘box in the middle for those that want an auto option, and huge rear lights and a rather large boot opening at the rear.
Audi’s NOx-reducing AdBlue technology will be available after launch, but we’ll see it on the Q7 and A4 first. Stop/start technology will also appear later in the Q5’s lifecycle, but there are currently no plans for a full hybrid.Is Audi's blunderbuss new model strategy working? Click 'Add your comment' and sound off