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Audi facelifts Q5

Right on Q: Audi has given the Q5 SUV a freshen up ahead of its debut by the beginning of next year.

Popular Audi Q5 SUV to get more power and efficiency Down Under

26 Apr 2012

AUDI has announced a mid-life upgrade on the Q5 SUV that will bring more power and standard features, better fuel economy and – for the first time – a hybrid variant.

The revised model range, which features spot-the-difference styling both inside and out, will debut in Europe around mid-year but may not surface in Australia until early 2013.

Audi Australia spokesman Shaun Cleary told GoAuto that the car will not arrive Down Under until summer, meaning a December debut at the earliest.

All five traditional combustion engines – three diesels and two petrols – have been either tweaked or replaced to produce more power and consume less fuel courtesy of an idle-stop system and a new electro-mechanical power steering.

Currently Audi Australia sells all variants available in Europe but the base 105kW diesel, and this is expected to continue. All non-hybrid drivetrains are matched to a standard seven-speed S-tronic automatic transmission.

The entry 2.0-litre TDI engine now makes 130kW and 380Nm – up from 125kW and 350Nm at present – and consumes 6.0L/100km of fuel, 0.8 litres less than before.

The bigger 3.0-litre V6 TDI now produces 180kW and 580Nm, 4kW and a significant 80Nm more than previously while fuel economy of 6.4L/100km reduced by 1.1L/km.

7 center imageThe petrol range still kicks off with the 2.0-litre TFSI engine, which due to revisions to the fuel injection, turbocharger and exhaust manifold now makes 165kW (up 10kW) and 350Nm (unchanged) while drinking 7.6L/100km (down 0.9L/100km).

The flagship petrol is a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 that replaces the current 3.2-litre unit. Its 200kW and 400Nm outputs are up 1kW and 70Nm, while its fuel use is 0.8L/100km better at 8.5L/100km.

The petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain, which combines a 155kW/350Nm 2.0-litre petrol engine with a 40kW/211Nm electric motor, is not confirmed for right-hand drive, and is therefore unlikely to be sold down Under.

Combined maximum output is 180kW and a diesel-like 480Nm of torque, enabling the Q5 hybrid to zip from zero to 100km/h in 7.1 seconds while sipping 6.9 litres of petrol per 100km.

The engine and motor send drive through a modified eight-speed automatic transmission with three modes – frugal EV, normal D and sporting S.

Changes to exterior styling are few, but include a different front air inlet located under the Audi’s latest grille design and new LED headlights. There are also four new colours available, bringing the total to 15.

The cabin picks up additional chrome and gloss black trim inserts, new steering column stalks and a different ignition key. Ergonomic upgrades include an extra button for the navigation system and new three-zone climate control air conditioning.

Updated driver assistance systems include a fatigue warning system that measures driver fatigue based on vehicle inputs, while radar-guided adaptive cruise control and active lane assist will become options.

The boosted infotainment system includes access to traffic updates and Google maps via the Bluetooth system’s integrated wireless Internet hotspot.

While pricing and specification details for the Australian market are not yet confirmed, the facelifted model attracts price increases of around €150 (A$195) in Europe.

Audi sold 2801 Q5s in Australia last year, eclipsing key rivals like the BMW X5 (2770), Mercedes-Benz M-class (2077) and Lexus RX (1758).

Sales are up this year by 2.7 per cent at 769 units, although the car-maker sold just 88 examples in March, co-inciding with the launch of the smaller Q3 SUV.

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