Audi has confirmed that the Q5 will be the first hybrid model that it offers to customers, following a recent decision to run the forthcoming Q7 hybrid on an in-house fleet basis. The Q5 hybrid, which has been conceived around the latest lithium-ion battery technology, is due to go on sale in UK in early 2010. Audi sold more than 100,000 cars in China in 2007, thanks partly to the enduring success of its long wheelbase A6, so it came as no surprise to see its new Q5 SUV swamped by show visitors. Ingolstadt’s BMW X3 challenger looks more progressive in the metal than it does in most photographs. The nuances of its styling, including the old S2 Quattro-inspired front wheel arch treatment and integrated Q7-like clamshell tailgate, do not take full effect until you see them up close. But that didn’t stop rival car makers from pointing out the apparent similiarities between the Q5 and recently introduced A4 Avant, with which the new SUV shares its four-wheel-drive underpinnings.