Audi expects as many as half of the European buyers of its new Q5 to be women. Frank Hermann, head of product marketing for the Q5 and Q7, said the carmaker believes more women will choose the mid-sized Q5 than Audi’s larger Q7 because of the Q5’s compact size.
"In Europe, we expect 25 to 50 percent of the Q5’s buyers to be women compared with 10 to 12 percent with the Q7," Hermann said at the auto show here. The Q5 has the same platform as the A4 lower-premium car. It is 456mm shorter than the 5085mm-long Q7.
The Q5 will go on sale in Europe in the autumn. Sales will begin in the US in the first quarter of 2009, with China following in the second quarter. The Q5 will compete against the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK class and Volvo’s XC60.
In the US, half of Q7 buyers are women. Audi expects a similar figure for the Q5 there, Hermann said. Audi will launch a Q7 gasoline-electric hybrid variant next year but will not build a Q5 hybrid, Hermann said.
gallery: Audi Q5
"We think our clean diesel engines are the most suitable solution for cutting CO2 emissions on the Q5," Herman said. The Q5’s most powerful diesel, a 240hp, 3.0-liter V-6, has CO2 emissions of 205 grams per kilometer driven. "We are working to reduce emissions to under 200g/km," Hermann said.
The Q5 will have four-wheel drive as standard, but Hermann said Audi is considering whether to offer a front-wheel-drive variant. Audi said it will announce Q5 prices nearer to its market launch but company sources said the SUV will start at €38,000 in Germany.