Audi is taking renewed aim at the BMW X3, Volvo XC60 and Mercedes-Benz GLC with an all-new second-generation Audi 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 Audi 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 Audi 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.