Sleek new Audi Q5 Sportback touches down in Mzansi
If you like your luxury SUVs served with a coupé twist then you will be pleased to know that the Audi Q5 Sportback range has arrived in SA. Based on the recently facelifted Q5 SUV that went on sale in September, the new Sportback version differentiates itself with an aggressively sloped roofline that lends it a far sleeker silhouette — albeit at the cost of some boot space (you lose 40 litres). Other than this marginal practicality deficit and a very slight increase in overall length (+7mm), there's not all that much between the two.
From launch the style-focused Q5 Sportback will be available in a choice of two model grades: Advanced and S line. Key differences between the two lie in the “Singleframe” radiator grille, side air inlets, rear bumper as well as the design and size of the alloy wheels. While night-busting LED headlamps are fitted as standard (brighter Matrix LED units are optional) customers are free to tick the box on Audi's special OLED-technology tail lights that are sure to wow other road users with their animated light signatures. To ensure maximum personalisation, Audi is offering no less than 11 paint finishes and the option of its popular Black Styling Package that helps give this Q5 even more visual bite.
In terms of interior technology all Q5 Sportback models come equipped with the latest-generation 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen infotainment system that replaces the excellent click-wheel menu system of old (yeah, we're still not sold on this decision but anyway). Fully compatible with voice commands and capable of accessing the Audi connect online services network, it is powered by Audi's third-generation Modular Infotainment Platform (MIB 3) that apparently offers ten times the computing power of its predecessor. Audi's smartphone interface is standard while a head-up display is optional — as is Audi virtual cockpit plus. Forming part of the optional Technology Package, the latter takes the shape of a high-resolution 12.3-inch TFT digital instrument cluster with three different graphic layouts, which you can control via switches set in the multifunction steering wheel.
Moving on swiftly to the business of motors and Audi is offering the Q5 Sportback with a choice of two engines. Under the bonnet of the 40 TDI sits a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel motor twisting out 140kW and 400Nm — good enough for 0-100km/h in a claimed 8.1 seconds and a maximum speed of 220km/h. Next up is the 45 TFSI with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine delivering 183kW and 370Nm. It'll dispatch with the 0-100km/h dash in 6.3 seconds and reach a VO2 max of 237km/h. This model also features a 12-volt mild-hybrid system said to improve overall fuel efficiency by as much as 0.3l/100km. Both Q5 Sportback models ship exclusively with a seven-speed S tronic gearbox that distributes power to a variable Quattro all-wheel drive system.
The Q5 Sportback is equipped as standard with a sports suspension system, however customers do have the option of fitting Audi's trick adaptive air suspension that allows 60mm of adjustment to better suit real time driving conditions. Indeed, with a press of a button you can quickly raise your ride height by as much as 45mm or lower it by 15mm.
Finally, and for those seeking extra driving thrills, the flagship SQ5 Sportback completes the range with its fire-breathing 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 engine cooking up 260kW and 500Nm worth of torque. These substantial figures will see it reach 100km/h in a claimed 4.9 seconds and top out at an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. Equipped with an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission, this range-topper further benefits from a self-locking centre differential, red brake calipers with “S” lettering as well as an adaptive sports air suspension fitted as standard. Other standout features include Audi virtual cockpit Plus, massaging front leather sports seats and a flat-bottom steering wheel.
Pricing for the new Audi Q5 Sportback range is as follows:
40 TDI quattro Advanced: R960,000
40 TDI quattro S line: R1,000,000
45 TFSI quattro S line: R1,050,000
SQ5 TFSI quattro: R,1,355,000
Pricing includes all taxes and a standard five-year Audi Freeway Plan.