The new Q5 will switch to the Volkswagen Group’s MLB platform for models with a longitudinal engine layout, as used by the latest A4. The move to the lighter architecture has allowed Audi to pack in more luxury and safety equipment while still delivering weight savings, with some sources suggesting the new car will be about 100kg lighter than the model it replaces, with the leanest editions weighing 1620kg.That could make Audi’s SUV about 200kg lighter than the Mercedes GLC, a key rival.
Most Q5s will be four-wheel drive, but more basic engine options are likely to be offered with front-wheel drive as well. The new A4’s four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines are likely to be carried over to the Q5 without major modifications, while the petrol V6 — still a key motor for the US market but unlikely to be offered in the UK — is part of a joint project with Porsche. Entry-level front-wheel-drive four-cylinder models will come with the lowest CO2 emissions.
The new A4’s suspension set-up — a five-link system at both the front and rear — will be retained, but the Q5 will also be offered with self-levelling air suspension. Engineers will use the new MLB platform to reduce the Q5’s front overhang and lengthen its wheelbase, so while the car will have broadly the same exterior dimensions as the outgoing model, there should be more interior space on offer, particularly in the rear.
Spy shots show that the Q5 will get chunkier looks than the poorly received current Q7, with notable wheelarch flares and a stronger shoulder crease running along the flanks. Its roofline is that of a conventional SUV, though — a sign that Audi still plans to slot in a more rakish, stylefocused Q4 model to take on the Range Rover Evoque.