This is the Audi Q5, the company’s long-awaited rival for the BMW X3 and Land Rover Freelander. Unveiled at the Beijing motor show today, the Q5 is one of a blitz of new Audi models due over the next four years. It will arrive in the UK at the very end of 2008, priced from just under £30,000.
Audi is pitching the five-seat Q5 as the sportiest SUV in its class and it will be available with three engines, one petrol and two diesels. The firm’s quattro all-wheel drive system will be standard on all models. Climate control is also standard, and the list of optional extras is long.
Based on the same MLP modular chassis as the A4 and A5, the Q5 is a handy 4.6m long and just 1.65m high. As these pictures show, it’s a more compact and modest machine than the bombastic Q7, a timely move by Audi considering the environmental pressure currently being applied to SUVs.
The Q5 styling is neat but less aggressive than the Q7, although the treatment of the aluminium tailgate (the bonnet is also aluminium) is original. Audi says the Q5 has a creditable Cd of 0.33 and that the car has the longest wheelbase (2.8m) in its class.