Audi adding Q5 to great call of China

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige News -

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.

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