Audi's second-generation mid-sized SUV, revealed at the Paris Motor Show, gets stronger external styling, more interior space and greater off-road ability. Developed to stand out against the latest offerings from BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and now Jaguar, the new Q5 looks very much like the SUV that can.
Unlike many of its competitors, Audi can claim to have vast all-wheel-drive expertise thanks to its Quattro system and the rallying trophies in its display cases, and with the new model it has taken subtle design steps to highlight the car's capabilities when heading away from perfectly surfaced roads. Its lines are more angular and less swollen and it gets the same front grille treatment seen on the new A4 and A5 models.
As well as the Quattro system, the car has a new multi-link suspension set-up and for the first time can be specified with self-levelling air suspension. This means it will be able to shrug off bumpy roads, be better at fording streams, perform equally well as a load lugger as the quintessential school run car; and, as is increasingly the trend in the premium SUV space, is a car that can handle towing a caravan, horsebox or sailboat.Audi Q5 from the back. (Photo: AFP Relaxnews)
Inside, it's an Audi and therefore has a well-appointed and well-considered cabin with intelligent use of the best natural and man-made materials. Buyers will be able to go with a traditional console with an infotainment system or opt for the company's virtual cockpit set-up that dumps a traditional instrument binnacle for a multi-purpose, multi-display screen.
As for powerplants, it will share four-cylinder and six-cylinder gas and diesel engines with the new A4 and A5 models and, like its lower riding siblings, will also be getting sportier versions in the coming months.
During the reveal, Audi also confirmed that plug-in hybrid versions will also be coming to market in the near future.