Friday, January 30, 2009

The All New Audi Q5 puts the sport in SUV


A new Audi performance SUV has just slotted in below the Q7 range.

The Q5 is priced from €55,330 ex-works and the new Audi combines sports saloon drivability in a stylish SUV. It is more compact than most of its competitors, and Audi claims it sets another benchmark in its class with a low drag co-efficient of 0.33.

Its elegant, coupé-like design is accentuated by sleek headlights on both sides of the large single-frame grille, which can be equipped with daytime running lights. Viewed from the side, the large wheels and rising edges are also prominent features.

At the rear, the wraparound tailgate – made from aluminium, like the bonnet – clearly identifies this SUV as a relative of the Audi Q7. The tail lights are available with distinctive LED lighting technology as well.

Audi offers three different options for the external trim of the Audi Q5 as well as two options for body styling. The S line exterior pack gives the car a sportier look, while the alternative off-road pack, with underside protection in the front and back and 19-inch wheels, gives the SUV a stronger look. The chrome roof rails are standard equipment.

The Audi Q5's wheelbase is the longest in its class, creating a comfortable and flexible ride for five people in ergonomically designed seats. The rear seat backs are angle-adjustable and easily fold down by activating the remote release lever in the luggage compartment. This compartment, offering access to a second storage area under the floor, expands from 540 litres to 1,560 litres in volume. Optional extras include a rail mounting kit for luggage, a net partition, and a luggage compartment liner.

Safety is a priority in the Audi Q5. On the front seats, belt force limiters and airbags (front, side, and curtain are standard) work together, and much of the car's body is made of high and ultra-high-strength steel components assembled with maximum precision. They reduce weight and improve crash safety as well as rigidity and vibration patterns.

Inside, the driver-oriented cockpit is set higher in keeping with the upright seating position. Interior materials include aluminium, exclusive woods, chrome, leather, and Alcantara, and can be further customised with a large selection of optional design packages. Other standard equipment for Ireland features items such as acoustic rear park assist, cruise control, electric folding heated mirrors, and climate control.

The Audi Q5 comes standard with an electromechanical parking brake, an intelligent chip key, a climate control system, and a display screen in the instrument cluster, depicting, among other things, the recommended ideal gear for efficient driving in a given situation.

A large central monitor is also standard. When an onboard navigation system is added, many of the controls are shifted to the MMI panel on the centre console. This is the next generation of what is probably the best operating system on the market, featuring even more intuitive graphics and control.

The Audi Q5 launches with three engine variants – one petrol engine and two TDI units. All are direct-injection turbocharged models, and are characterised by outstanding performance and strong propulsive power while also offering impressive fuel efficiency.

The 2.0T FSI has been entirely redesigned. The four-cylinder engine unites turbocharging, petrol direct-injection technology, and the innovative Audi valve-lift system for variable control of valve lift. The high torque of 350Nm is available at 1,500rpm and remains constant up to 4,200rpm, with performance peaking at 211PS. The Audi Q5 2.0T FSI sprints from zero to 100km/h in 7.2 seconds, reaching a top speed of 222km/h and averaging 33.2 mpg.

Drawing on four cylinders and two litres of displacement, the 2.0 TDI is superbly refined thanks to a new common-rail fuel injection system; like the petrol engine, it has two balancing shafts. With 350Nm (between 1,750 and 2,500rpm), this diesel engine delivers its typically strong response from an impressive 170PS. Combined fuel consumption of 42.1mpg is proof of Audi's successful efficiency strategy. The TDI reaches 100km/h from rest in 9.5 seconds, peaking at a top speed of 204km/h. An S-tronic version of this engine is available from February 2009 build.

The most powerful engine in the line-up is the 3.0 TDI. This V6 diesel engine delivers 240PS and 500Nm of torque, which is available between 1,500 and 3,000rpm. With outstanding response and refinement, it takes the Audi Q5 from zero to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds, accelerates to a top speed of 225km/h, and covers 36.6mpg on the combined cycle.

The 2.0 TDI transfers its power to a six-speed manual transmission. Audi has built innovative technology into both the 3.0 TDI and 2.0T FSI – the S-tronic, a new twin-clutch transmission with seven speeds. This high-tech component can execute gearshifts in just a fraction of a second while offering exceptional comfort and high efficiency. Drivers can let the seven-speed S tronic shift automatically or select gears manually, when desired with rocker switches on the steering wheel.

The Audi Q5 features standard quattro® permanent all-wheel drive. In normal running conditions, the transfer case distributes the power to the front and rear axle in a 40:60 ratio. When needed, quattro can deliver up to 65 per cent of the power to the front axle and a maximum of 85 per cent to the rear axle.

The five-link front axle and trapezoidal-link rear axle are made primarily from aluminium and the steering box below directs the steering impulse directly to the wheels. Large brakes ensure high retardation. The Audi Q5 ride on lightweight alloy wheels ranging in size from 17 to 20 inches.

The Audi Q5's electronic stabilisation programme has been redesigned and enhanced with innovative functions such as a sensor that tells the ESP if a roof rack has been mounted, shifting the car's centre of gravity to accommodate a roof load of up to 100kg.

The ESP and its sub-function, the ABS, have special ranges for off-road driving. The ESP focuses on achieving maximum traction in off-road driving; the ABS automatically recognises the consistency of the driving surface and selects the ideal strategy for sand, gravel or loose rocks.

The Audi Q5 is capable of towing up to 2.0 tons and delivers excellent performance. The standard hill descent control system makes it safe to navigate steep declines by regulating the preselected speed when driving at speeds of less than 30km/h. Ground clearance is an impressive 20cm, with a fording depth of up to 50cm when driving through water.

Strong and efficient engines, quattro permanent all-wheel drive, and agile running gear, incorporating the innovative seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and optional Audi drive select control system, have been brought together to create a high performance SUV.