Audi has just unveiled the all-new second generation Q5 compact SUV. The new SUV gets a bold new nose, with short overhangs, angular headlights, and Audi’s new grille. Moving down the side, the crease running over the wheels and along the doors is more pronounced, and flares over the rear wheels. The hood has new creases, and at the back is a chrome finisher for the exhaust along with new shorter tail lights that continue the line of the rear fender crease.
The Q5 has gotten bigger in nearly every dimension, but extensive use of “maximum tensile strength” steel and aluminium combine to reduce the weight by up to 90 kg depending on model. Wind tunnel fine tuning has reduced the drag coefficient and has also been used to reduce interior wind noise. Audi claims both to be best in class.
Inside there is more space for five passengers. The air conditioning has been improved, and a heated steering wheel is now optional. Other luxury features include seat massage and ambient lighting in up to 30 colours. Audi’s newest MMI infotainment system integrates a 4G cellular connection and a wi-fi hotspot that allows connectivity with up to eight devices. It has improved voice control, and the system runs through an 8.3-inch touchscreen sticking out of the top of the dash. It also controls the optional Bang & Olufsen sound system, and there is a pair of large Audi tablets available for backseat control and entertainment. The navigation can learn your normal routes, associate them with time of day, and give you directions that learn from that. The dashboard has Audi’s 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display screen as an option.
The radar cruise control follows the vehicles around you to try and coast more instead of braking, helping to improve fuel economy. It can also handle traffic jams, or other stop-and-go situations. There is rear cross-traffic alert, collision and turning assist, automatic emergency braking, and traffic sign recognition.
The sole choice of engine for Canada at launch will be the 2.0L TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 252 hp. It will be coupled to a seven-speed S-tronic dual clutch automatic and quattro all-wheel drive. Wheels will start at 17-inch and range up to 21-inch as options. An adaptive air suspension will also be available.
The Q5 will be built at Audi’s newest plant in Mexico, and should arrive in Canada in the first quarter of 2017.
First Drive: 2018 Audi Q5
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