Leisure Wheels (South Africa) - - NEWS -

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.

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