Audi is working on a new compact SUV to take a place below the Q7 in the company’s model range. The Q5 will be based on the same platform as the next-generation Audi A4 and will come to compete with the BMW X3, Land Rover Freelander and the upcoming Volvo XC50 and Mercedes GLK. It will go on sale in 2008 at an expected price of $35000. The Q5 will be produced at Audi’s plant in Ingolstadt with a development price tag close to $400 million.
The Q5 will come with Audi’s renowned quattro all-wheel-drive system and technically it is derived the Volkswagen Touareg. The vehicles will come with Audi’s new TSI petrol engines, which use a supercharger and turbocharger. Naturally there will be a range of turbodiesel powertrains too.
For the European market it will be offered with a choice of direct-injection 2.0-liter Inline-4 and 3.2-liter V6 gas and turbo-diesel engines. A high-performance 4.2-liter V8 variant also is expected. There are even plans for a sports version which may get the famous S badging and the 261 hp 2-litre TFSI from the new S3. Diesel power will be the main selling force in Europe market with the 2.0 TDI and 3.0-litre V6 TDI both being offered. For the Us market the V8 power plants which are essential, so the engines will be mounted lengthwise, not transversely. The Q5 will also feature a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox.
The top speed will be electronically mimited to 155 mph and the 0 to 60 mph sprint will be made in 7 seconds.
Comparing to the BMW X3 or the Mercedes GLK, it will be bigger, measuring about 4.70m in overall length. The design will be inspired from the 2006 Audi Q7, that was unveiled at 2005 Frankfurt Auto show. The distinctive shield grill dawns the front of the car with Q7 lower facia, and sleek like headlights. The rear design is reminiscent of both the A3 Sportback and A4 wagon. Comparing to Q7, the Q5 will only have room for 5. The Q5 forgoes with off-roading capability but will feature air suspension and hill decent control.
The Audi Q5 will join the Audi Q7 as the Audi brand’s second model in the sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment. “The Audi Q5 will be an overtly sporty vehicle that will add an important product to the Audi model range. The Audi Q5 will take us a big step closer to vehicle sales of 1.4 million per year, a target that we have set ourselves for 2015,” continued Winterkorn.
The new designation indicates that the X3 now boasts an engine upgrade, in the form of the 3.0-liter 260 hp aluminum/magnesium Valvetronic inline-6. Complementing that engine is a new 6-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission, replacing the previous 5-speed as a no-cost option. A 6-speed manual remains standard, as the 2007 X3 retains its position as one of the only vehicles in its class to offer a manual transmission for serious driving enthusiasts.
With the new powertrain, the X3 3.0si is significantly quicker than the ’06 3.0i: 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds with its 6-speed manual, or 7.1 seconds with its new 6-speed STEPTRONIC. That’s an improvement of 0.8 second with the automatic or 0.7 second with manual. Complementing the improved performance is a similar gain in fuel economy, as the new 3.0si carries an EPA estimate of 19 mpg City / 26 mpg Highway with the automatic, or 18 City / 26 Highway with manual. No other luxury-compact sport-utility can match those mileage and acceleration figures.
With 260 horsepower and 225 lb-ft. of torque on tap, the new X3 3.0si makes marked improvements in its 0-60 mph performance, and it remains one of the fastest 6-cylinder SUV’s in the segment—6.9 seconds with its 6-speed manual or 7.1 seconds with its new 6-speed STEPTRONIC automatic. BMW’s exclusive Valvetronic technology ensures that the X3 not only provides exceptional acceleration, but excellent fuel economy as well. At 19 mpg City, 26 Highway, the ’07 X3 3.0si automatic betters the mileage from the ‘06 3.0i by more than 10 percent. With its manual transmission, the X3’s figures are nearly as impressive, at 18 City, 26 Highway.
The all-new Land Rover Freelander 2 redefines the compact premium 4x4 class. New from the ground up, Freelander 2 delivers outstanding on-road performance as well as the class-leading off-road ability of a true Land Rover. A dynamic design, purposeful stance, smart and spacious interior, and an abundance of advanced technologies complete the package.
Freelander 2 is Land Rover’s fourth all-new vehicle in just over four years, and follows the new Range Rover (2002), Discovery 3 (2004) and Range Rover Sport (2005). Their highly successful introductions contributed to record Land Rover sales worldwide in 2005. Technical highlights of the Freelander 2 include two brand-new engines: a 3.2-litre straight-six petrol and a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel. Both feature advanced technologies to deliver outstanding combinations of performance and economy.
The 233 PS (171 kW) i6 petrol engine provides a top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h) and 0-60 mph acceleration in 8.4 seconds (0-100 km/h in 8.9 seconds). Combined fuel economy is 25.2 mpg (11.2 litres/100 km). The engine is matched to a new six-speed automatic transmission, with Land Rover’s CommandShift™ offering manual sequential gear changes when required. There is also a driver-selectable sport mode, for livelier performance.
The XC50 is a smaller version of the XC90, but with its own personality. The design is sporty and dynamic, with classic Volvo radiator grill in foreground forming a V-shape with front lights. The side is a good compromise between dynamism and off road requirements. The back of XC50 reminds directly its bigger brother: vertical displacement of lights is close to XC90’s.
The XC50 will be powered with the same engine as the V50 with an output 145 to 220 hp. It will debut at the end of 2007 and will go on sale in the first months of 2008.