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2018 Audi Q5 recasting brings defining refinements

The comprehensively redesigned Audi Q5 made its global debut in Paris and while presented in Euro trim, the compact luxury SUV offered an early look at what we can expect to see arrive here in the U.S. sometime next year. According to Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management at Audi AG, the upgrading of what was already a wildly successful entry sets the bar “a notch higher” on numerous design and technical fronts offering more style, more efficiency and more technology while jettisoning nearly 200 pounds in some configurations.

While maintaining established family styling values, this new Gen II Q5 cranks a bit more edge into its crisply tailored bodywork while netting a class-leading 0.30 coefficient of drag. A bolder, “six-corner” take on the Singleframe grille is flanked by restyled LED (or Matrix LED for Europe) headlamps and imparts a lower, wider character to the front of this versatile Audi. The rear features equally dynamic LED lighting set off with a recast diffuser and new chrome exhaust finishers. In addition to new colors, the Q5 will be available with sporty S Line and off-road styling packages.

Bigger and better inside

Inside, the new Q5 boasts even more passenger and cargo space than the existing model and offers enhanced trim elements, while more legible standard instruments, revised multifunction steering wheels and repositioned control stalks deliver improved functionality. In addition to two new high-efficiency climate control systems, the new Q5 will offer Audi’s Virtual Cockpit along with a more user-friendly MMI navigation setup that includes Audi’s Personal Route Assist feature, plus a Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System and a rear-seat entertainment package.

The new Audi Q5 will supplement its lengthy roster of standard safety features with a comprehensive array of driver assists bundled into Tour, City and Parking packages for Europe. Among the available helper systems that complement the Audi Pre-Sense City found on all models are Adaptive Cruise Control with traffic jam assist, Active Lane Assist, Cross Traffic Assist Rear, Collision Avoidance Assist, Turn Assist and Exit Warning.

More sophisticated handling

Like other Audi models, the new Q5 features a mass-minimizing core structure that blends high-strength steel and aluminum. Based on a variation of the platform that underpins the latest Audi A4, the Q5 comes with a conventional chassis that’s been tuned for better overall balance. An optional adaptive damping setup can be modified using the Audi Drive Select system, which also changes steering feel, throttle response and transmission mapping. For the first time, the Q5 also will offer a new adaptive air suspension in certain models. As in the past, the Q5 will be available in both front-drive and with Quattro AWD that can be fitted with the “ultra” tech sport rear differential setup on some variants.

The new Q5 will launch in Europe with five engines, including four turbodiesels and a new 252-horsepower/2.0-liter gasoline TFSI. While the TDI engines won’t be coming to America, expect to see the TFSI – which is also used in the new A4 – included as part of whatever powertrain lineup does make it into showrooms here. Audi has confirmed a next-gen Q5 Hybrid plug-in also is in the works, and all versions will be built at the automaker’s new factory in San Jose Chiapa, Mexico.

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