Q5 en­ters new era

Sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Audi SUV range is topped by a lusty 260kW SQ5 ver­sion

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORING - MO­TOR­ING STAFF

THE SEC­OND-gen­er­a­tion Audi Q5, launched in South Africa last week, is in many ways a mi­cro­cosm of the chal­lenges fac­ing the mo­tor in­dus­try in the sec­ond decade of the new mil­len­nium.

At 4660mm long, 1890mm wide and 1660mm tall on a 2820mm wheel­base, it is big­ger in nearly every di­men­sion than its pre­de­ces­sor be­cause the mar­ket de­mands it; cus­tomers want to know they are get­ting ‘more car for their money’.

It’s big­ger in­side too; even with the back seat in its rear­most po­si­tion the cargo bay will swal­low 550 litres of re­tail ther­apy (10 litres more than the pre­vi­ous Q5), and with it folded, ca­pac­ity ex­pands tardis-like to 1550 litres.

Nev­er­the­less, it is also, de­pend­ing on the en­gine, up to 90kg lighter - thanks to clever us­age of ever-greater per­cent­ages of ex­pen­sive alu­minium and high-strength steels, to meet the fuel-ef­fi­ciency statutes of reg­u­la­tors and clean air au­thor­i­ties around the world.

Audi’s new mid-sized SUV ar­rives in South Africa in a five­strong range com­pris­ing two trim lev­els, with a choice of two-litre diesel or petrol power, as well as the range-top­ping SQ5 with 260kW of three-litre V6 tur­bopetrol mo­tor­va­tion.

The two-litre TFSI tur­bopetrol, rated for 185kW and 370Nm, and the TDI tur­bod­iesel (140kW and 400Nm, on tap from 1750-3000rpm) are each mated to a pad­dle-shift S tronic au­to­matic trans­mis­sion with a fuel-sav­ing free­wheel func­tion and Audi’s new qu­at­tro-on-de­mand ul­tra fi­nal drive. The sys­tem uses 150 sen­sors to mon­i­tor the route, driver and driv­ing sta­tus pre­dict­ing whether and when one or both of the front wheels will begin to lose trac­tion and bring­ing in the rear axle ahead of time to Con­tin­ued on Page 3

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