All-new machine looks reassuringly unchanged, but is bigger and better all round
Audi has unveiled its all-new, second-generation Q5 SUV at the Paris Motor Show, and emphasises that the premium car is a big step on from its predecessor despite looking very similar.
Those subtly evolved bodylines belie an all-new platform derived from the Q5’s award-winning A4 saloon stablemate. A weight-loss plan means the newcomer is up to 90kg lighter than the current model, while the extensive use of advanced technology places the Q5 in a highly competitive position against top-notch rivals like the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Mercedes GLC and Jaguar F-Pace.
Promising a bigger and more versatile, refined and comfortable driving experience than at present, the new Q5 boasts Audi’s fully digital Virtual Cockpit instrument pack complete with sat-nav. A selection of optional packages include safety kit such as adaptive cruise control that, in slow traffic, can assume steering duties. This means the new Q5 is, in part, ‘autonomous’. A special sat-nav monitor that warns of upcoming road conditions also allows you to ease off the throttle and so save fuel.
At launch, the engine range incorporates a 249bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol, plus 148bhp, 161bhp and 187bhp 2.0 diesels, and a 282bhp 3.0 V6 turbodiesel. Transmissions are a six-speed manual, seven-speed DSG automatic and eight-speed auto, teamed with front-wheel drive – a first for the Q5 – 4WD and, in some models, Audi ‘ultra’ tech, which disengages the back wheels when not required.
Plans are afoot to eventually enhance the Audi Q5 line-up with a plug-in hybrid using the 2.0-litre turbo petrol and two electric motors. The manufacturer is touting sub-100g/km CO2 emissions and up to 31 miles of electric-only driving. Meanwhile, the performance end of the market will be catered for by a sporty SQ5 with a 325bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel, and, later on, an RS Q5 with nearly 500bhp.
Prices will be announced closer to the Audi Q5’s launch in 2017, but aren’t expected to be too far above the current £32,580 starting price.