Audi unveils all-new Q5

Now sportier and more aggressive
by Andrew Guerrero | Oct 6, 2016
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The Q5 has been around since 2008 as Audi’s entry into the executive compact crossover SUV segment, which was new back then. This segment has become saturated, thanks to other competing premium brands. Can Audi’s popular crossover still stand out? The brand seems to think so.

Audi has just revealed its all-new Q5 at this year's Paris Motor Show. It’s a sequel to the German carmaker's first-ever compact crossover SUV. In predictable Audi fashion, there’s nothing groundbreaking with the vehicle's aesthetics. Like most Audis in the last decade or two, styling is evolutionary; the challenging bit is making it look fresh, but still keeping the look distinctly Q5.

At first glance, the new Q5 looks like a mix between three nice looking Audis. Its profile is pure Q5 with its familiar sleek silhouette and athletic stance. Its bold face was obviously influenced by the new Q7, with its big, angular single frame grille and large blocky faux grille openings on each corner. Moving on to the sides, the slightly arched front fenders and muscular rear haunches were definitely influenced by the sporty new A5. Interestingly enough, the rear end's styling hasn’t changed that much at all. It blends the best styling characteristics from each to come up with a somewhat distinctive design.

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Inside, it adopts the same traditional-looking dashboard layout as its siblings. The same can be said about its new or updated tech features, like the optional Audi virtual cockpit or the multimedia interface with an 8.3-inch touch screen. On the infotainment end, the Q5 comes with a premium Bang & Olufsen Sound System. For connectivity, it’s now Apple Car Play- and Android Auto-compatible. Of course, all of this wouldn’t mean much if the living quarters didn’t improve. The good news is that Audi squeezed out more passenger space, plus an added 10 liters of luggage space.

Under the skin, it features an all-new architecture with a higher percentage of lightweight high-strength steel and aluminum. Despite its slightly larger dimensions, it’s up to 90kg lighter than its predecessor. Thanks to its strict diet and upgraded suspension, both handling and ride comfort have been improved.

The new Q5 will be offered with a choice of four oil-burning TDI engines and one gasoline engine. The 2.0-liter TDI variants will put out 150hp, 163hp, and 190hp, while the 3.0-liter TDI will push out 286hp. The gasoline 2.0-liter TFSI will be capable of 252hp. The Quattro AWD system will come as standard, except for the base 2.0 TDI variant, which will have power sent to its front wheels.

The all-new Q5 will be manufactured at Audi’s new plant in Mexico. It will reach European showrooms in early 2017. Expect other export markets to follow shortly after.

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PHOTO: Audi AG
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