German luxury carmaker Audi has taken the covers off the newly updated Q5. Audi has given the premium 5-seater SUV a mid-cycle update, the second-gen car has been around globally since 2016. In doing this, the two-row SUV has been visually brought in line with the rest of the Audi SUV lineup.
The new Q5 is sharper, sportier and features visual updates on the exterior and changes on the interior – primarily with regards to the tech. But other than the significant cosmetic changes, perhaps, more importantly, there will be a standard mild-hybrid powertrain and an optional plug-in hybrid variant for the Q5.
The Audi Q5 is the most successful SUV from Audi. Its first generation arrived in 2008 and went on to sell 1.6 million units worldwide. The second generation made its global debut in 2016 and now the car has undergone its mid-cycle facelift. The unmatched popularity of the SUV is primarily driven by its eye-catching visual profile which is matched by its performance credentials and comfortable cabin.
Over the last 12 years since it was first introduced to the world, the vehicle has managed to sell in solid numbers and is as much a common sight on Indian roads as elsewhere. The Audi Q5 PI or product improvement has made its global debut at the company’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, in Bavaria, Germany.
As mentioned earlier, the Q5 family gets a significant raft of visual alterations. Consequently, it gets many styling cues first seen on the Q8 flagship. Upfront, the large grille has a thinner frame that no longer butts up against the headlights. Some trims will see vertical slats finished in chrome, and the skid plate also being finished in silver instead of black. The S line sporty trim has a black honeycomb pattern grille. The car also gets larger air intakes now and the fog lamp housing is also larger, and more prominent. It gives the bumper a wider, flared look, despite the grille dominating its face.
Standard LED high and low beams and a more intricate daytime running lamp design tie the SUV in with the bombastic RS6 Avant sport wagon, at least on the District Green Q5 S-Line Audi showed off. A matrix LED option can be had too. Also, the bumper is now sharply cut with new triangular elements. Blacked-out exterior trim can also be optioned as an extra. The DRLs above the LED headlights have been redesigned and the profile has been given a muscular yet sharp makeover.
Around the rear, the differences are a little more subtle. There are new tail lamps and a chunkier ornamental diffuser. Notably, Audi’s pioneering OLED lighting tech is available as an option. The optional OLED rear light is split into three tiles of six segments each with Audi designers going this extra distance in a bid to create multiple designs and signatures from a single item of hardware. Customers would be able to select from three rear-light signatures. This technology first debuted in the e-tron Sportback and has now trickled down here.
Besides the three design choices that buyers can opt for, there is a fourth signature taillight pattern which comes on by default, when the car is put in dynamic mode (using the drive select drive modes programme). The OLED taillights have another trick – and that is safety related. All the OLED segments within the cluster light up – when the car is at standstill and sensors detect another vehicle coming closer from behind – like say at a traffic signal. Once you drive away, the taillights revert to the chosen signature design.
The new Q5 also promises a generous list of upgrades on the inside – ranging from space to comfort and convenience features. A sliding rear bench along with adjustable backrests will be available as an option and with this fitted, the luggage space ranges between 550 litres to a massive 1,550 litres. A variable folding floor mat will come as standard while a power tailgate will be available as optional. Audi also claimed that a refined aero-acoustics will ensure an even quieter cabin for an improved drive experience.
At launch, the facelifted Audi Q5 will be available in ‘edition one’ form. This adds the S Line styling package and black exterior treatment. There will also be carbon-fibre accents, red brake callipers and 19-inch wheels. The interior will get sports seats at the Audi puddle lights.
As far as features are concerned, the new Audi Q5 has a plethora of them. The new Q5 will come with the company’s latest infotainment package called MIB 3 (shared with most other new Audi products), displayed on a new 10.1-inch touchscreen. MIB 3 boasts 10 times as much processing power as its predecessor, and it now offers cloud-based vehicle customization – if you get into another Audi with MIB 3, you can download your vehicle preferences by logging into the infotainment system. Audi has done away with its rotary controller for the Multimedia Interface, instead relying on the larger touchscreen for inputs.
As always, the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit continues in its newest iteration. There are three design trims to choose from here as well and a suite of navigation and connected-car features. A simplified version of this could make it to India. A head-up display is available as an optional extra. As a part of the connected car tech, Audi will also offer a feature called ‘functions on demand’ that offers the option of activating additional features like the Navigation Plus; the navigation tech now offers high-res images via Google Earth or Audi’s smartphone interface via over-the-air updates through the MyAudi app.
While globally, Audi will continue to offer the Q5 facelift with both petrol and diesel engines, in India, the SUV could only come with one petrol engine. The India-spec Audi Q5 facelift is expected to be powered by the same 2.0-litre turbo-petrol motor seen in the Audi A6. In its 45 TFSI iteration, this motor generates 245PS of power and 370Nm of peak torque. The Q5 will also get a mild-hybrid setup to improve fuel economy. The engine will be mated to a 7-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox, while Quattro all-wheel drive will be standard.
While most of the features and highlights mentioned above are expected as a certainty in the new Q5 meant for India, the complete highlights would be confirmed once the car does touch down here in a bid to take on its direct rivals with renewed vigour.
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The new Audi Q5 goes on to the market in Europe by August this year, but the updated car will arrive in India only in 2021. We expect the launch in the first half of the year. Audi had sold out the Q5 in the run-up to the implementation of BS6 emission norms earlier this year. As always, expect it to compete with the likes of Volvo XC60, BMW X3, Lexus NX, and Mercedes-Benz GLC.