The new DS3, customise every feature to suit your style
Audi has released more information on its updated Q5, which is set to go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year.
While the styling follows an evolutionary path, there is a lot to speak of on the engine front.
The most exciting addition is the SQ5 model - a performance flagship that also happens to be diesel-powered. The twin-turbo 3-litre TDI motor pushes 230kW and 650Nm, allowing it to sprint from 0-100km/h in just 5.1 seconds. Driven gently on the unrealistic EU cycle, it also achieved combined fuel consumption of just 7.1 litres per 100km.
On the subject of fuel economy, Audi claims that this new Q5 range is up to 15 percent more efficient, and the SQ5 is not the only high performance sipper in the line up.
Audi is also launching a Q5 hybrid, the first vehicle in its segment with a lithium ion battery. The hybrid system mates a 155kW 2-litre TFSI petrol motor to a 40kW electric motor for total system outputs of 180kW and 480Nm. The powertrain transfers this urge to all four wheels via an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox.
Audi claims the hybrid will dash from 0-100km/h in 7.1 seconds and, under ideal conditions, sip just 6.9 l/100km. It's also capable of driving up to 3km at a constant speed of 60km/h in pure electric mode.
NEW 2-LITRE TFSI
Another highlight on the petrol front is an all-new 2-litre TFSI engine that we'll no doubt see in other VW and Audi models in the future. The engine, good for 165kW and 350Nm at 1500rpm, boasts a torque curve like that of a diesel engine. As well as an innovative thermal management system, the engine also has a valvelift system that varies the stroke over two stages.
The petrol flagship, however, is Audi's 3-litre TFSI supercharged motor that develops 200kW and 400Nm.
Back to the diesels, Audi is offering a modified version of its 2-litre TDI, with output levels of 105kW/320Nm and 130kW/380Nm. The former is the only model in the Q5 range that does not have all-wheel drive as standard.
There's also a redesigned 3-litre TDI, rated at 180kW and 580Nm, enough for a 6.5-second 0-100km/h sprint. Combined consumption is listed at just 6.4 l/100km.
Which of these engines will form part of the South African range remains to be seen.
Audi's engineers tinkered with the chassis as well, with retuned springs, shocks and stabilizers, while the new electromechanical steering system was designed not to draw any power from the car during straight-line driving.
IT'LL WAKE YOU UP
The Q5 offers a driver select system, which, via four modes, allows the driver to control the characteristics of the gearbox, accelerator pedal and steering assistance.
Numerous driver assistance systems are available, including a radar-based adaptive cruise control system, as well as a 'side assist' system and three parking assistance gadgets. A device that can detect that the driver's concentration is waning and then recommend a break from driving is standard on all models.
Audi has a wide range of infotainment systems available in the new Q5, and the flagship MMI navigation plus system has been improved in many ways, including its voice control functionality. What's more, passengers can surf the web via an integrated WLAN hotspot.
As for the aesthetics, some new cabin materials, controls and a redesigned steering wheel mark out the 2013 model, as well as three new interior colours.
On the outside, styling changes are limited to a redesigned grille with beveled upper edges, new front bumper, optional xenon plus headlights with a continuous LED strip and LED tail lights.