ALL-NEW AUDI Q5 LAUNCHED IN SA
Audi has launched its all-new Q5 in South Africa. The new SUV replaces the first Audi Q5, which was for many years the world's bestselling vehicle in its class. The first version of the Q5 has sold more than 1.6 million units worldwide from its debut in 2008 until the end of its run. Locally, Audi has moved 11 300 units since 2009. From these figures, it should be clear that this is a very important model for Audi. It will be one of the company's volume sellers, should everything go as planned.
Visually, the Q5 has evolved significantly. This is a sharper and more aggressive vehicle. It has a flat front with a prominent grille, distinctive lights, sharp horizontal lines and a sculpted bonnet. The side has a strong shoulder line with a roof that slopes to the rear. Large wheels and prominent arches give the Q5 an aggressive stance. The rear is perhaps less interesting, but it nevertheless looks modern. Next to the latest Q5, the previous model looks rather shapeless.
Though it doesn't look it, the all-new Q5 is a larger vehicle than its predecessor. It is 4.66m long, 1.89m wide and 1.66 metres tall, with a wheelbase of 2.82m. That makes it slightly larger in every direction, yet the new version is around 90kg lighter. The Q5 also stands at the top of its class in aerodynamics. Some derivatives (the four-cylinder ones) boast a cd figure of 0.30, which makes them extremely aerodynamic and quiet.
While the overall exterior size of the Q5 has increased, it's in the cabin where you truly notice how the SUV has grown. The rear is spacious, and is capable of transporting three adults. Depending on the rear-seat position, the luggage area offers 550 to 610 litres of usable space. With the rear seats folded down, luggage space increases to 1 550 litres, which is impressive for a vehicle that is still a compact SUV.
Operation of the new Audi is intuitive and is marked by a couple of new features. Th optional Audi virtual cockpit presents graphics on a high-resolution 12.3-inch screen in the instrument panel. The driver can choose from two views: a classic view with large round instruments, and a mode in which the navigation map or lists dominate. Also optional is a newly developed head-up display which projects relevant information onto the windshield.
The Audi phone box connects smartphones to the vehicle's antenna for optimal reception quality; it charges smartphones inductively according to the Qi standard. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System with innovative 3D sound introduces the spatial dimension of height. The Audi smartphone interface also brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into the new Q5.
In its driver assistance systems, the new Audi Q5 improves on what was offered by its predecessor with a broad range of high-tech options. In their intelligent interplay, the systems represent a big step towards piloted driving. Adaptive cruise control (ACC), including traffic jam assist, can handle some of the steering work in slow-moving traffic. Audi Active Lane Assist makes it easier to stay in lane, while Distance Warning alerts the driver when the distance to a vehicle drops below a safe distance. Cross Traffic Assist Rear, the Exit Warning System, Collision Avoidance Assist and Turn Assist are other new features that help the driver avoid other traffic while dealing with tricky situations. Audi Pre Sense City, meanwhile, is a standard feature that warns of pedestrians and vehicles, and can even brake the vehicle in an emergency situation.
In standard guise, the Q5 is available with one diesel and one petrol engine. The TDI turbodiesel is four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1 968cc and output of 140kW and 400Nm of torque. It will take 7.9 seconds for the sprint from 0–100km/h and has a top speed of 218km/h. It has claimed combined consumption figure of 4.9 litres per 100km. The 2.0 TFSI petrol engine delivers 185kW of power and 370Nm of torque, and can sprint from 0– 100km/h in 6.3 seconds. Audi claims a consumption figure of only 6.8 litres per 100km.
If you’re looking for even more performance, Audi has also launched an S version, the SQ5, of its new SUV. While the previous SQ5 was powered by an oilburner, the new version has a 2 995cc V6 TFSI petrol engine that offers 260kW and 500Nm of torque. Top speed is limited to 250km/h, and 0–100km/h can be achieved in 5.4 seconds. According to Audi South Africa, a diesel SQ5 isn’t available internationally at present, but it is in the works, and it will eventually make its way to SA.
The latest Q5 boasts a new version of Audi’s famous Quattro system. The new Quattro drivetrain with Audi’s Ultra Technology, also known as ‘Quattro on demand’, always disengages the rearaxle drive whenever it is not needed and, if necessary, it can proactively re-engage it. According to Audi, the new concept boosts efficiency without reducing traction or driving dynamics. The intelligent operating strategy permanently monitors the route, driver and driving status, and predictively distributes the drive torque to the front and rear axle. The system make use of 150 sensors, and from the data these sensors provide, the controller calculates the point at which the front wheel on the inside of the bend will reach its grip limit. In doing this, it calculates about 0.5 seconds in advance. If the wheel approaches a defined degree of its grip limit, the all-wheel drive becomes active. The system only needs 200 milliseconds to fully activate Quattro. Furthermore, the Quattro controller orientates itself primarily on the driving style of the driver and on the status of the ESC, as well as on the mode set with the drive mode selected. Depending on the situation, up to 100% of the drive force can be transmitted to the front or the rear axle.
Audi SA has tried to simplify its Q5 model line-up, and because of this there is essentially only five specific models to choose from. You can choose the TDI or TFSI in either Base or Sport Spec, and only one SQ5 version is available. Pricing starts at R698 000 for the standard TDI, and the range is topped by the SQ5 at R1 044 000. There are still plenty of optional extras on offer, though, so prices can quickly increase if you start ticking boxes. The new Q5 is expensive, but it is an excellent SUV that is fun, versatile, comfortable and safe to drive. It’s sure to be as solid a seller for Audi as the outgoing model.