Heavily camouflaged test mules of the next-generation Q5 have been spotted testing on international roads. The new model, expected to make its debut in 2016, is said to be lighter than the current-generation model. The Audi Q5, like the new Q7, will be based on the latest MLB platform that employs a higher percentage of hot-formed high-strength steel and cast aluminium elements, resulting in a drop of about 100kg from the current model’s weight.
From the pictures seen, the heavily camouflaged prototype seems to get styling cues similar to the new Q7 — rectangular headlamps, a large prominent grille and prominent air vents on the front bumper. On the flanks, the wheel arches have been noticeably flared, while the rear has a clamshell-style tailgate with integrated tail-lamps as on the current car.
Inside, the new Q5 is expected to get a choice of MMI systems. The base and regular systems could get a 7-inch freestanding display and a rotary control, while the top-of-the-line MMI Plus system could get a larger 8.3-inch display with rotary control and touchpad.
Audi is also expected to allow customers to choose between the standard bi-xenon units and Matrix LED units for headlights.
In terms of power, the new Q5 is expected to be powered by a range of four-cylinder and V6 petrol and diesel engines. The four-cylinder petrol and diesel units, and the V6 diesel will be carried over, relatively unchanged, from the new A4. The V6 petrol will be from a new family of engines being jointly developed by Porsche and Audi. A choice of three gearboxes will be provided – a six-speed manual, a seven-speed S Tronic double-clutch automatic or an eight-speed torque converter automatic. Also being planned for the new Q5 is a plug-in hybrid powertrain using a combination of a 2.0-litre petrol engine and two electric motors. The Q5 will be offered in a choice of rear or all-wheel drive.
The next-generation Audi Q5 will likely enter production for international markets by 2016-end with the manufacturer planning to produce the next-gen SUV at its new facility in Mexico