Audi adding Q5 to great call of China
CAR buyers in China are just as keen on sports cars and off-roaders as anyone in the west. So it is no surprise, with the explosive growth in Chinese sales, that Audi chose the Beijing Motor Show this week to reveal the newest addition to its line-up.
The Q5 all-wheel drive is baby brother to the Q7 and will go up against a growing range of mid-sized prestige wagons including the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK and forthcoming Volvo XC60.
The Q5 will cost about $75,000, making it a premium contender, when it reaches Audi showrooms next year.
By then it will already be available in China, which has quickly become one of Audi’s biggest and most important markets outside the US. It is already ranked second to America in total sales, even if most are substandard local vans, and will soon overtake it for global leadership.
Audi lifted its Chinese sales 25 per cent in the first quarter this year by delivering 30,000 cars, a result that already makes it No.1 outside Europe. It expects to sell 110,000 cars this year, to top BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Two Q5 models were unveiled in Beijing, a 176kW/500Nm 3.0-litre TDI and 125kW/350Nm 2.0-litre TDI four cylinder.
A 188kW/330Nm 3.2-litre petrol V6 is destined for the US market.
The 2.0-litre TDI four-cylinder turbodiesel engine is shared with the A4 and Audi hopes to build a hybrid model too.
The 2.0 TDI is available with a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic, but the petrol and V6 TDI engines are mated to Audi’s new seven-speed double clutch gearbox, called S-Tronic.
The 3.0-litre turbodiesel is expected to be the biggest seller and has a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 6.5 seconds, a top speed of 225km/h, and 7.7 litres for 100km combined fuel economy.
Like the A5 coupe, the Q5 will have a quattro drive system with a 40:60 torque split for optimum handling, and a five-link front aluminium suspension and trapezoidallink rear setup.
The Q5 is slightly longer and lower than a BMW X3 and is aimed at the Lexus RX350, Land Rover Freelander and Volvo XC60. But it will be at a premium price because the X3 and Freelander both cost more than $60,000.
Unlike the Q7, which shares some structure with the Porsche Cayenne, the Q5 has mechanics from the A5 coupe and A4 sedan and shares the same wheelbase with the A4.