Audi is taking renewed aim at the BMW X3, Volvo XC60 and Mercedes-Benz GLC with an all-new second-generation Q5 - and these are the latest pictures of the model, revealing its new grille and interior details for the first time.
Although heavily disguised, a similar front-end treatment to the Q7 is visible, with more angular headlights and a thick grille surround, finished in chrome. The shape is different to that seen on Audis of late, suggesting the new model could introduce a slightly different design language. More rakish lights also feature on the rear of the car, while the chunky profile of the Q5 is maintained.
The new pictures also reveal one of the next-gen Q5's interior door cards for the first time. There are clear similarities with the design of the Q7, suggesting the rest of the cabin could take influence too.
Earlier pictures of the car testing at the Nürburgring (below) show it in hot SQ5 guise. This is confirmed by the fitment of larger wheels and the car's use of more aggressively styled bumpers.
When launched, the Q5 will have a contemporary new look and a high-quality interior featuring the latest in-car connectivity functions. The model line-up will include a frugal plug-in hybrid and, later on, a performance-orientated RS Q5.
Closely related to the latest A4, the new Q5 has been engineered from scratch in a move that officials suggest has resulted in it shedding more than 100kg compared with the first-generation model that has been on sale in the UK since 2008. Nothing is official, but Autocar understands that the lightest of the new line-up, a price-leading rear-wheel-drive entry-level model, tips the scales close to 1620kg.
Key to the weight loss is the adoption of the latest evolution of Audi’s MLB platform already used by the new Q7 and A4. It uses a greater percentage of hot-formed high-strength steel and cast aluminium elements than the initial MLB structure, providing the new Q5 with not only much lighter but also more rigid underpinnings than its seven-year-old predecessor.
While the prototypes spied here are comprehensively disguised, the new SUV remains close to the existing model in size with a length of around 4700mm, a width of 1950mm and a height of 1650mm.
A moderate increase in the wheelbase, which currently stretches to 2810mm, promises to provide added levels of accommodation, most notably in the rear, where officials suggest the model benefits from additional leg and shoulder room. Boot capacity is also said to have increased beyond the nominal 540 litres of today’s Q5.
Audi design boss Marc Lichte has given the Q5 a more rugged look than that of the recently introduced Q7. Seen here, elements such as prominent wheel arch flares and large wheelhouses are evident underneath the camouflage of these latest test mules. Like the original model, it also appears to feature a clamshell-style one-piece tailgate with integrated tail-lights.