New Audi Q5 gets latest tech and 375 kW RS model
Audi has been spotted testing the all-new Q5, expected to be reaching dealers some time next year.
The SUV has become one of the company’s most important vehicles as it combats the likes of BMW’s X3 and Mercedes-Benz’s soon-to-be-released GLC, in a segment that has grown significantly since the Q5’s launch in 2008.
As far as dimensions go, the second-generation Q5 has hardly changed, with only the wheelbase increased over its predecessor. But that’s not to say that the new Audi Q5 isn’t a giant leap as far as advancements are concerned.
Underpinning this latest version is the new MLB platform also used by the Q7 and A4. This means a greater percentage of aluminium and hot-formed high-strength steel compared to the first generation, giving it an edge in rigidity as well weight.
Early estimates suggesting a weight saving of close to 100 kg compared to a similarly specced current-generation Q5.
Powering the Audi Q5 will be a familiar range of four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, with a few surprises. The four-cylinder engines will be lifted as is from the current generation, while the V6 diesel unit that currently powers the SQ5 will receive a power increase to 242 kW.
There is also talk of a high-performance RS Q5, expected later in the car’s life cycle. According to rumours it will be powered by a twin-turbocharged 3,0-litre V6 and will develop in the region of 375 kW.
Quattro will be offered throughout the range, although the entry-level Q5s will move to a rear-wheel drive layout. Getting the power from the engine to the wheels will be handled by a choice of either six-speed manual, seven-speed dual-clutch S-tronic, or eight-speed Tiptronic gearboxes, depending on the engine they are linked to.
While it seems that not much has changed in terms of engines and size, the interior and creature comforts represent a major step forward. The new car will be offered with a choice of bi-xenon with LED or pure LED-based Matrix headlights, similar to those on offer in the upcoming, all-new A4.
In addition, the infotainment and instrument cluster will see a major revamp with optional extras on both. Buyers can opt for the traditional Audi MMI which includes a 7-inch free-standing screen and rotary control, while the MMI Plus increases the screen to a 8,3-inch unit linked to a rotary dial and touch pad.
The instrument cluster can also be specced as a digital unit, similar to the unit fitted to the latest Audi TT.
The Q5 will use a multi-link suspension setup with steel springs and adjustable dampers, and will be configurable with optional air suspension, providing an automatic self-levelling feature as a way of improving the ride and towing capabilities.
The Audi Q5 is only expected on European showroom floors during the latter part of 2016, so the local market launch will probably be scheduled for 2017.