AUDI has torn the covers off its updated Q5 mid-sized SUV which sports a new look, upgraded tech and more power ahead of its local launch in the first half of next year.
Brandishing new bumpers front and rear, the facelifted Q5 actually measures 19mm longer than before (4682mm) while still riding on the familiar 2820mm wheelbase and sports an altogether angrier look than before thanks to a reworked grille, bigger air intakes and revised LED running lights.
Q5 exterior designer Ashley Gleave was on hand at the digital media reveal last week to explain some of the new styling changes, headed up by the reworked ‘Singleframe’ grille.
“What we’ve done here on this car is we’ve detached it now from the bonnet, moved it down and made it wider, but we’ve also changed it now so it has the same octagonal shape as the other Q cars,” he said.
Mr Gleave added the new Q5 drew inspiration from the RS line of vehicles which, combined with the vertical intakes and tweaked headlight arrangement, help to give the car a more focused and sporty demeanour.
Redesigned sills now give the Q5 an extra element of ground clearance when viewed from the side, despite Audi admitting that very few Q5 owners take their cars meaningfully off-road.
At the rear, there is a new diffuser and trim piece linking the revised tail-light arrangements.
Two optional exterior packs will be available for those wanting an extra layer of class or sportiness; the ‘advanced line’ adds chrome vertical ribs in the grille and silver under-ride guards beneath the front and rear bumpers while the S line adds a black honeycomb mesh to the grille and a chrome strip framing the rear diffuser.
After the styling, the biggest update to the Q5 lays in its infotainment system which now utilises the latest version of Audi’s Modular Infotainment Platform (MIB 3), a system the brand says is 10 times more powerful than the MIB 2 platform.
The system itself can be accessed via a new 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen which forgoes the previous rotary dial mounted on the centre console with a new storage cubby hole now in its place.
One key new feature of the system is its ‘functions on demand’ ability “which allows customers to book functions such as MMI navigation plus and the Audi smartphone interface anytime they wish post-purchase via the myAudi smartphone app or myAudi online portal” which are then activated over-the-air via a mobile data bundle.
Three powertrain options will be available for Australian customers with the range kicked off by the diesel-powered 40 TDI, with its 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder mill churning out 150kW of power and 400Nm of torque, 10kW up on the current Q5 40 TDI.
Thanks to a new aluminium crankcase and new crankshaft, this engine is more than 22kg lighter than before and is claimed to return a combined fuel figure of 5.3 litres per 100km.
Above the 40 TDI will be the 45 TFSI, powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder engine producing 183kW while the 50 TDI quattro sits atop the range with its 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, still good for 210kW and more than 600Nm of torque.
According to Audi, all four-cylinder variants besides the 45 TFSI will come with a 12V mild-hybrid system while the six-cylinder variants step things up with a 48V system.
Both setups are designed primarily to recuperate energy usually lost in braking and store it in the on-board lithium-ion battery to be used during stop-start traffic and powering accessories.
When all said and done, Audi claims the 12V system in the 40 TDI saves up to 0.3L of fuel per 100km.
Not only is the revised entry-level mill more powerful and more efficient, but cleaner too thanks to a new twin-dosing SCR system which squirts “urea liquid into the exhaust system, which ensures a better situative distribution and thus, a particularly effective reduction of nitrogen oxides” – the 40 TDI’s claimed CO2 emissions are 139g/km.
A more potent powerplant will follow the standard range in the form of an updated SQ5 which will only be offered here in diesel form, however Audi Australia is keeping its cards close to its chest as to when we can expect to see the hi-po mid-sizer.
Transmission-wise, the four-cylinder variants will continue on with the familiar seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission while the 50 TDI quattro and eventual SQ5 will lob with eight-speed torque-converter units.
A Sportback range is also in the works according to Audi executives with the coupe-esque variants set to follow some nine months behind the wagon line-up, pointing to a late 2021 or early 2022 introduction.
While the engines bound for Australia have been roughly outlined, Audi Australia corporate communications manager Shaun Cleary would not be drawn into revealing the exact model line-up, local pricing or specifications.
“That will be confirmed at a later date,” he said.
Just like its first-generation predecessor, the current Q5 has proven a hit for Audi Australia with the German brand managing to shift 1045 examples so far this year ending May, making it the brand’s second best-selling model behind the smaller Q3 (1326).
Within the $60,000+ medium SUV segment, the Q5 has not fared quite as well, occupying fourth position on the sales charts behind the Mercedes-Benz GLC (1688), BMW X3 (1664) and Lexus NX (1233) with a 10.5 per cent market share.