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Audi Q5 PDF Print E-mail

Audi has, for the first time in its history, recorded annual sales exceeding 1m units.? And considering the general downturn in car sales towards the end of 2008, that is no mean feat.? In part it is consistent with Audi?s global expansion plans, but it is also down to the fact that the Ingolstadt automaker builds cars people actually want to buy; unlike the US ?Big Three? that continued to produce mammoth trucks, with gas-guzzling propensities, long after the public decided they were not for them.? One such example of Audi?s success is the new Q5 off-roader.

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Audi introduced its new mid-sized off-roader at the Los Angeles Motor Show late last year.? Whereas the existing Audi Q7 is a vast seven-seater of extremely large proportions, the Q5 is of more manageable dimensions.? The new vehicle is not quite what is termed a ?cross-over?, but it is infinitely more sporting than its larger cousin.

With a choice of three engines ? one gasoline and two diesels ? many observers predict the Q5 2.0 TDi to become the best seller in the range.? Equipped with direct fuel injection, this unit also has twin counter-rotating balancer shafts to reduce vibration.? Producing a massive amount of torque, which peaks at 350 Nm, it also has a decent power output at 170 bhp (125 kW).

The other motors available with the Q5 are a turbocharged, gasoline direct injection, two liter developing 211 bhp and, again 350 Nm of torque; and a three liter TDi V6 producing 240 bhp and 500 Nm, which is available between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. ?The latter engine is capable of getting the Q5 from a standstill to the benchmark 100 km/h in just 6.5 seconds.? Pretty good for a diesel.

The drive line of the Q5 sees its differential mounted ahead of the clutch, immediately behind the engine.? This repositions the front axle well forward, resulting in a long wheelbase and ideal load distribution.? All versions of the new SUV are fitted with permanent quattro all-wheel drive.? The gasoline engined model and the larger diesel are both mated to a seven-speed auto transmission, while the 2.0 TDi is fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox.

A unique feature, unmatched by the competition, is a sophisticated electronic stability program that can detect when a roof rack is fitted and calculates the increase in center of gravity.? In this instance the ESP cuts in slightly earlier as the handling limits are approached.

Although this is a luxury SUV, it is a true off-roader, capable of scaling a gradient of 31 degrees, with angles of approach and departure of 25 degrees.? The ground clearance is a substantial 20 centimeters and a wading depth of 50 centimeters is permitted when driving through water.? Standard equipment also includes a hill descent assist system, which makes driving down steep slopes safer by restricting the speed to below 30 km/h.? Furthermore, the ESP and ABS have special mapping for off-road driving.

Optional is electronic control for the dampers and dynamic steering, which varies the steering ratio and power assistance, from a direct ratio at low speed to a more indirect one at higher speeds.? When the Q5 reaches its handling outer limits, the dynamic steering, in tandem with the ESP, makes slight adjustments to the steering angle automatically.?

The interior is equally comprehensively equipped, with three-zone automatic air-conditioning, and a quality audio system with eight speakers.? Optional are a parking aid with rearview camera, and a lane assist system that alerts the driver to potential hazards when changing lanes. A tire pressure monitoring system is standard, as is a panoramic glass sun roof and adaptive lighting which turns the headlight beams to follow the road.

No prices for south-east Asia have been quoted just yet, but in Europe the top model sells for around 38,000 euros.? First deliveries are expected early this year.

 
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© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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