A winner gets even better – Audi updates the Q5
Sporty, attractive and versatile – the Audi Q5 performance SUV is the most successful mid-class SUV in Europe. Now it is even better – adding many new solutions in design, infotainment, assistance systems and engines. The Q5 hybrid quattro combines the power of a six-cylinder engine with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder unit.
The sporty design of the Q5 with its flat roof arch is now appearing in a meticulously revised and sharpened form. The single-frame grille has chamfered top corners; its vertical chrome struts and Audi rings have a sculptural look. The bumpers, air inlets and front fog lights are also new.
The optional xenon plus headlights have a continuous strip of LED daytime running lights around the edge, similar to the tail lights at the rear. The sporty S line exterior package and distinctive offroad styling package are options that strongly accentuate the looks of the Q5. The wrap-around tailgate – a typical design element of the Audi Q models – and the engine hood are made of aluminum. In the passenger cell, advanced form-hardened steels reduce weight; they are extremely strong and at the same time lightweight.
More power, less fuel consumption: engines
In revising the Audi Q5, fuel economy was improved by up to 15 percent, despite power increases for most engines. A highlight of the engine lineup is the all new two-litre TFSI. This gasoline engine introduces innovative solutions – in the control of valves and their stroke, in its innovative thermal management, turbocharger, integration of the exhaust manifold in the cylinder head and the common rail system that integrates additional fuel injection into the induction manifold.
The 2.0 TFSI produces 225 hp, yet it has a combined fuel consumption of just 7.9 litres per 100 km with the tiptronic transmission. Offering even more performance is the new 3.0 TFSI – this supercharged V6 increases power output to 272 hp with 295.02 lb-ft of torque. It completes the sprint to highway speed (62.14 mph) in 5.9 seconds.
Advanced efficiency: electromechanical power steering
The new electromechanical power steering system represents another advance in efficiency – in straight-line driving, the Q5 no longer needs any energy for steering. Audi has also tuned the springs, shock absorbers and stabilizers for an even more balanced chassis. Most engine versions are delivered with 18-inch aluminum wheels; wheels up to 20 inches in diameter and the S line sport suspension are available as options.
Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) detects the composition of the road and adjusts its interventions accordingly; hill descent assist is standard.
The Audi drive select dynamic handling system introduces more versatility to the performance profile of the Q5. It lets the driver control the accelerator pedal characteristic, automatic transmission shift points, amount of steering assist and operation of the automatic air conditioning over four different modes, including an efficiency mode. If an Audi navigation system is installed, the user-programmable ‘individual’ mode is added.
Optional high-end components can be integrated into the Audi drive select control system as well. They include a radar-based adaptive cruise control system, chassis with damping control and dynamic steering. The latter adjusts the steering gear ratio according to vehicle speed and improves stability in sharp curves.
Versatile: driver assistance systems
The revised Audi Q5 also sets benchmarks in its class with its driver assistance systems. The new driver information system with rest recommendation is standard. If it detects that the driver’s concentration is waning, it recommends a break from driving.
The most innovative of the optional assistance systems is the further developed adaptive cruise control.
This radar-based cruise control system regulates the distance between the Q5 and the vehicle ahead; at speeds below 30 km/h (18.64 mph) it initiates hard braking if it detects an impending front-end collision. Audi active lane assist supports the driver with slight steering corrections to stay in lane, while Audi side assist monitors the space behind the vehicle, making lane changes more relaxed. Rounding out the driver assistance system lineup are three systems that make parking easier.
In the infotainment area, Audi offers a broad range of units, where MMI navigation plus represents the very top unit. This large media center has been improved in many aspects, including its voice control functionality. It is ideally supplemented by the Bluetooth online car phone that offers an integrated WLAN hotspot which lets passengers surf the Web and send emails with their mobile devices.
For the driver, the Bluetooth online car phone introduces services from Audi connect into the vehicle. They include such services as point of interest search with voice control and navigation with Google Earth images and Street View. Audi online traffic information shows the very latest traffic loads over the selected route on the navigation map. The smart phone app Audi Music stream lets users receive a large number of Internet radio stations and save favorites to a cell phone. The selected program is played over the audio system loudspeakers via WLAN.
Wellness lounge: interior
The workmanship quality of the Audi Q5 is top notch, and the interior has been further refined. Many of its controls have slender chrome rings, and the panels on the center console are styled in high-gloss black. All steering wheel versions have been redesigned. MMI navigation plus now only requires four control keys, and its volume dial has a skip function. Other changes relate to seat heating operation, the Audi drive select dynamic handling system and multifunction steering wheel.
In the revised Audi Q5, customers can choose from three new interior colors and three leather and three fabric qualities; decorative inlays include three wood veneers and an aluminum version. With the S line sport package, the interior is immersed in black; sport seats and subtle trims make it even more exclusive. The Audi exclusive program and Audi exclusive line offer further attractive recommendations.
The Audi Q5 exhibits great talents for everyday driving and recreation. Its long wheelbase of 2.81 meters (9.22 ft) creates ample space for five passengers. The angle of the rear seatbacks is adjustable; when they are folded down cargo capacity grows from 540 to 1,560 liters (19.07 cubic ft to 55.09 cubic ft). Options include a rail system, cargo liner, reversible floor mat, electrically powered tailgate, folding front passenger seatback and longitudinally adjustable rear bench with load-through hatch. The trailer load is up to 2.4 metric tons – that too is a top value.
Assuming a special position within the model series is the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro, the first hybrid SUV in its segment with a standard lithium-ion battery. The powertrain consists of a 2.0 TFSI developing 211 hp and an electric motor with up to 54 hp of power. Together they produce 245 hp of system power and 354.03 lb-ft of system torque.
The two drives are installed in series and are joined via a clutch. Their power is transmitted to the quattro drivetrain via a modified eight-speed tiptronic. The lithium-ion battery located at the rear of the vehicle stores 1.3 kWh of nominal energy, and it is cooled in two different ways depending on loads.
The Audi Q5 hybrid quattro accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds. At a constant speed of 60 km/h it can cover up to three kilometers in pure electric mode, and its peak speed in this mode is 100 km/h. Combined fuel consumption is just 6.9 litres per 100 km. The hybrid SUV can be driven with just the TFSI, just the electric drive or in hybrid mode; in addition, the powertrain features energy recovery and boosting.
The driver can choose one of three programs. The EV characteristic map prioritizes the electric drive, the D program controls the two drives to optimize fuel economy, and the S level is the sport mode. Special indicators let the driver know the drive type currently being used and its efficiency potential.