Audi is under a bit of pressure lately, in the midsize luxury SUV category, as newcomers from Land Rover, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz threaten the current-generation Audi Q5 in both sales and quality. The current Q5 is still a great car, but its technology and performance leaves a lot to be desired in today’s world of the Discovery Sports and Jaguar F-Paces. So Audi is getting its new replacement for the aging first-gen Q5 ready and it will be here this summer.
According to Autocar, the 2016 Audi Q5 will be unveiled this coming summer, with sales beginning in the UK by the fourth quarter of this year. So expect a debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
The upcoming Audi Q5 will steal design elements from the brand-new Audi Q7. This will mean a larger 3D grille, more rakish roofline and much angrier headlights. If it looks like shrunken Q7, that would be a compliment as the new Audi Q7 is one of the best looking SUVs on the road today. It will also share the Q7’s MLB architecure, much like the Audi A4, and will be much lighter and stiffer than the outgoing Q5. There will also be a stretch in wheelbase for the new Q5. This will aid in the handling and performance department, something the Q5 desperately needs. Though, the new Q5 will remain similar in size.
New LED and LED Matrix headlights will be offered in Europe, but don’t expect the Matrix lamps to make their way ‘Stateside. Inside, the new Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster will be available and so will Audi’s new MMI system, featuring Google Earth, 4G LTE Connectivity and Mobile Eye driver assistance system.
Audi’s typical suite of four and six-cylinder engines, both petrol and diesel, will be available in the new Q5, with the possibility of a new KoVoMo V6 developed in joint by Audi and Porsche. A plug-in hybrid version is also planned as well as a performance variant. Transmission choices will be either a six-speed manual, seven-speed S-Tronic or eight-speed automatic, depending on engine options and model variants. Front-wheel drive will be standard in lower end models but Quattro all-wheel drive will be optional on them and standard on higher-end models.
The current-generation Audi Q5 is a good car, but an aging one. When it first debuted, it was tough to beat as it blended great performance, stunning looks, a wonderful interior and fantastic practicality for an affordable price. But all of its competitors have recently caught up to it, some even surpassing it, so Audi needs to hit another home run with this new Q5 if it wants to get back on top.