Audi’s long-awaited Q5 compact SUV will arrive on the local market in early 2009. Expect Ingolstadt’s usual lofty build quality and technological additions, but not a hint of Tiguan…

Audi has pegged the Q5 as an SUV that combines saloon car handling with a versatile interior and a modicum of dirt track ability. Among the technological highlights are the company’s S-tronic 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, Audi’s drive select dynamics system and an advanced sat-nav system that utilizes a high resolution monitor with a 3D map display.

The Q5 will initially play host to a choice of three powerplants – one petrol TFSI unit and a pair of turbodiesels. A fourth (petrol) engine will join the local line up early in 2009. The Audi Q5 2,0 TDI reaches 100 km/h from standstill in 9,5 seconds, and has a top speed of 204 km/h. Power stands at 125 kW at 4 200 r/min, while 350 N.m of torque is developed between 1 750 – 2 500 r/min. According to Audi, this engine returns and average fuel consumption figure of 6,7 litres/100 km.
The revised 2,0 TFSI develops 155 kW at 4 300 r/min and 350 N.m of torque from just 1,500 r/min up to 4 200 r/min. This unit propels the Q5 from 0-100 km/h in 7,2 seconds on the way to a 222 km/h top speed.
The range-topping V6 turbodiesel in the Q5 3,0 TDI develops176 kW at 4 000 r/min and 500 N.m of torque from 1 500 to 3 000 r/min. This unit takes the Q5 from 0-100 km/h in 6,5 seconds and on to a top speed of 225 km/h.

The 2,0 TDI is mated with a six-speed transmission, while Audi has earmarked a new seven-speed version of its S-tronic dual clutch transmission for the 3,0 TDI and 2,0 TFSI. S-tronic allows the driver to leave the transmission to change gear automatically or they can manually shift via a set of steering wheel-mounted paddles.

As it utilizes the A4/A5 platform, the Q5 features a differential located ahead of the clutch, and immediately behind the engine. This repositions the front axle well forward, resulting in a long wheelbase and an even axle load distribution. The Q5 is also equipped with Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which distributes the engine's power 40:60 between the front and rear wheels in normal conditions. If need be, the quattro powertrain can divert up to 65 percent of the torque to the front wheels, or as much as 85 percent to the rear. The Q5’s five-link front suspension and the trapezoidal-link rear suspension are made substantially from aluminium.

Hill descent assist is fitted as standard to all models in the Q5 range. This system holds the vehicle’s speed at below 30 km/h when negotiating steep declines. In addition, the Q5’s ESP and ABS systems also use special characteristic maps for off-road driving capable of making adjustments for loose surfaces.

The Q5 is 4,63 meters long, 1,88 meters wide and 1,65 meters high. The styling takes in the company’s signature single-frame grill and headlamps that can be supplied with xenon bulbs and LED daytime running lights as options. The side view is dominated by large wheel arches, which can be filled with a range of alloy rims from 17- to 20-inches in diameter The interior can be appointed in a number of materials such as aluminium, wood, chrome, leather and Alcantara. Such items as the automatic air conditioning and 8-speaker sound system are included as standard. Optional extras include Audi’s MMI navigation plus with hard drive and DVD drive, a Bluetooth phone, a TV tuner, an intelligent speech control system, digital radio reception, an interface for an iPod or MP3 player with USB connection, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system.

High-tech driver aids include Audi’s parking system with rearview camera, Audi lane assist, which alerts the driver to potential hazards when changing lane and adaptive cruise control.

Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch next year.