set to race on to the market in early 2017, the second generation AUDI Q5 will arrive with an even sportier and more multifaceted design. its dynamic yet taut-stance exterior leads to a high flexible interior, which is capable of rising to meet any challenge. combining this with advanced connectivity technologies, efficiency mechanics and an array of next-level driver assistance systems, the latest vehicle is ready to become the most accomplished AUDI SUV model to date.
as rupert stadler, chairman of the board of management at AUDI AG says, ‘the first AUDI Q5 was for many years the world’s best-selling SUV in its class. it was no easy task to design its successor, but that is precisely why it is so very exciting.’ on an exclusive trip to mexico, designboom test drives the succeeding Q5 to judge for ourselves how exciting the car is and whether it truly sets new standard heights in its segment once more.
designboom’s editor-in-chief birgit lohmann with the AUDI Q5 in mexico
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mexico, more specifically the municipality of los cabos on the baja california peninsula, was the perfect place for us to test drive the second generation AUDI Q5. the mixture of sand-blasted tarmac and challenging off-road terrain provided the ideal environment to put the SUV through its paces. however, there is another more important reason for the specific location of this test review. it was to mark the automotive brand’s opening of their newly constructed factory in mexico, which is dedicated to manufacturing the Q5 models.
the sculpturally flared singleframe grille dominates its aerodynamically flat front end
bathing in the mexican sun, Q5’s faceted exterior glimmers like an AUDI sedan with its precise sporty appearance. its aerodynamically flat front end is dominated by a sculpturally flared singleframe grille and paired alongside headlights with either LED or high-resolution matrix LED technology. flowing from front to back, a distinctively curved yet strongly undercut shoulder line provides the vehicle with a dramatic side structure. this feature is enhanced by the boldly emphasized wheel arches as well.
los cabos, mexico, was the ideal location for test driving the SUV
image © designboom
similarly to the front, the rear end of the vehicle is crafted with horizontal lines that reflect a look of width and presence. moving upwards, the tailgate wraps around the C-pillars, showcasing a common feature for AUDI SUVs as seen in our test reviews of the Q2 and Q7. the model’s five newly configured equipment lines; sport, design, the S line sport package, design selection, and the S line exterior package, influence the overall appearance. openly available in 14 different exterior colors, each equipment line dictates the customization such as the design line features contrasting gray add-ons, and the sport line blends these additions in with the exterior paint.
a distinctively curved shoulder line gives structure to the side view
image © designboom
at 4.66 meters long, 1.89 meters wide and 1.66 meters in height, the second generation AUDI Q5 has grown in nearly all dimensions when compared to the previous model. remarkably, however, the car’s unladen weight has been reduced by up to 90 kg – this depends on the engine type. the dramatic weight reduction is the result of constructing the body with an intelligent material mix of maximum tensile strength steel and aluminum. this advanced body construction has ensured wind noises are exceptionally low and that vibrations are equally as small.
moving into the shade of the car’s interior, which is available in a broad selection of colors and materials, its increased size means there is more space on offer for five passengers. the basic volume of the luggage compartment ranges from 550 to 610 liters, gaining 10 liters more room than its predecessor had. furthermore, when the rear bench is folded down, this volume grows to 1,550 liters, which easily fitted in our large luggage and extensive camera equipment. whilst riding along as a passenger in the vehicle, it is clear to see the interior’s impression of width and comfort. its characteristic of board space is defined by horizontally oriented lines that underscore the inside’s design, specifically the instrument panel. on this section, a three-dimensional trim strip runs across the entire width to further reiterate its plentiful room for comfort.
AUDI’s virtual cockpit is shown on the high-resolution screen on the dashboard
the operation and driving of the new AUDI Q5 is intuitive and easily managed through three advanced features. its virtual cockpit presents brilliant graphics on its high-resolution 12.3-inch screen. here, the driver can select two views; one with large round instruments for multiple functions, and the other mode with a dominating navigation map. the MMI terminal with its touchpad and rotary pushbutton, located in the center console, enables passengers to control the system easily. to make this even simpler for the driver, it now recognizes gestures as well as natural-language voice control. taking head-up displays one step further, AUDI have created the multi-function steering wheel plus HUD. by projecting key information on to the windshield through symbols and numbers, we were in complete control of speed, safety and direction whenever driving.
horizontally oriented lines underscore the impression of width and comfort
in terms of safety, the AUDI Q5 presents the brand’s most advanced driver assistance systems to date. these technologies, reflecting their next step towards autonomous driving, are grouped into three different packages; tour, city, and parking. in tour mode, the predictive efficiency assistant helps the driver save fuel by gathering specific information from the car’s surrounding environment. although not really an issue in the southernmost tip of the baja california peninsula, adaptive cruise control, with traffic jam assist, can handle parts of the steering work when in slow-moving traffic. the active lane assist and distance warning alerts were much more important features for our test drive as we dealt with winding mountain roads in windy conditions. in city mode, an array of features such as; cross traffic assist rear, exit warning system, and collision avoidance assist, ensure that the passengers are always perfectly safe. finally in parking mode, the vehicle offers park assist, traffic sign recognition and hill descent assist to complete the AUDI’s advanced features.
the interior is available in a broad selection of colors and materials
present at the test drive was the Q5’s five different, powerful and efficient engines; four TDIs and one TFSI. in total, the second generation’s engines offer up to 27 more horsepower (hp) whilst also reducing fuel consumption. the 2.0 TDI models provide outputs of 150 hp, 163 hp and 190 hp, whilst the 3.0 TDI increases this to 186 hp with 620 Nm of torque. in comparison, the 2.0 TFSI has an output of an impressive 252 hp yet only consumes 6.8 liters of gasoline per 100 km. the drivetrain has been redeveloped as a new quattro drivetrain with ultra technology. this ensures that the rear-axle drive is always disengaged whenever it is not needed. by doing so, this boosts efficiency and makes for improved sporty yet comfortable handling. finally, with the mexican landscapes as its scene, we tried out all of the AUDI Q5’s seven driving modes, which helps ensure that the car is adapted suitably for any offroad or allroad challenge.
the AUDI Q5 disengages the rear-axle drive whenever it is not needed, and if necessary it can predictively re-engage it
with the newly-constructed mexico factory dedicated for manufacturing the second generation Q5, the latest AUDI SUV will be released on to the international market in the beginning of 2017. as AUDI’s chairman of the board of management said, the designing of a better model than the best-selling original Q5 was a difficult act to follow. however, after test driving the successor in the extreme environment of los cabos, mexico, it is very apparent that AUDI has successfully achieved this feat, and have once more pushed the boundaries for its class segment.
a close-up of the rear lights
the SUV’s new quattro drivetrain enables it to easily drive on all terrains
image © designboom
image © designboom
AUDI is producing the premium AUDI Q5 SUV for the global market on a production site in mexico
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