2021 Audi Q5 offers new PHEV, 349hp SQ5 and high-tech OLED lights

Chris Davies - Jun 29, 2020, 5:00am CDT
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2021 Audi Q5 offers new PHEV, 349hp SQ5 and high-tech OLED lights

Audi has revealed the new 2021 Q5, the latest version of what’s arguably its most important model. Headed to the US later this year, the new Q5 tightens up the styling and brings a plug-in hybrid and a sporty 2021 SQ5 along with it, complete with lashings of extra tech inside.

The Q5 has become Audi’s volume seller, the crossover responsible for 1.6 million sales in its first generation. For the new 2021 Q5, Audi keeps the silhouette but adds some of the glitz from its other recent models.

So, the 18-inch 5-arm-star design wheels are standard now, while 19-inch 5-double-arm bi-color wheels or 20-inch 5-arm design wheels are optional. The Singleframe grille now has vertical chrome strips laced along it, and it’s flanked by new headlamps with long daytime running lights that replace the old orange side markers. LED headlamps are now standard, with matrix LED lights as an option.

At the rear it’s arguably even more striking, with digital OLED taillights. Each combining three OLED panels, of six segments in, the optional lights allow for three different rear-light signatures which buyers can choose from at the point of ordering. These have different designs for locking and unlocking the SUV, and use proximity detection to light up in a welcome pattern when someone nears.

The new Q5 is slightly longer than its predecessor, but height and width are unchanged. Inside, there’s an optional sliding rear bench, with cargo space in the trunk varying from 19.4 through to 54.7 cubic feet. A variable folding floor mat is standard, while a power tailgate is optional.

Leather seats and walnut wood inlays are standard, with contrast stitching and high-gloss black interior trim. There’ll be three models for the US market. The 2021 Q5 45 TFSI Quattro will have a 261 horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4 turbocharged gas engine, with 273 lb-ft of torque. Audi’s 12V mild-hybrid system is standard, responsible for running the belt alternator starter, though not actually contributing to engine power. A seven-speed S tronic transmission with quattro all-wheel drive is standard.

The 2021 Q5 PHEV 55 TFSI e quattro, meanwhile, is the hybrid version of the SUV. It has a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo that’s paired with an electric motor sandwiched between the gas engine and the transmission. As a result, it gets 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. A 14.1 kWh battery is responsible for driving the electric motor.

It gets 19-inch wheels as standard, along with the S line exterior package with a different grille. A Sport plus package adds adaptive air suspension, 20-inch 10-spoke-star wheels, front sport seats, S line leather/Dinamica, and brushed aluminum inlays. The Q5 PHEV can also be had in different colors, including Ultra Blue and District Green.

Finally, there’s the 2021 SQ5, with a 3.liter TFSI V6, 349 horsepower, and 369 lb-ft of torque. It comes with an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, as well as adaptive dampers as standard. Air suspension – with ride height and firmness adjustment – along with dynamic steering with a variable ratio are options.

It has the 20-inch wheels as standard, with platinum finish. A 21-inch 5-V-spoke-offset bi-color wheel is optional if you have the Black optic package; otherwise that comes with 20-inch 5-V-spoke-star design bi-color wheels. 21-inch 5-arm-polygon design wheels in silver are available.

The OLED taillights come as standard on the SQ5 Prestige trim, while quad hot pipes for the exhaust system are optional

All versions of the new Q5 get Audi’s MMI infotainment system, with a 10.1-inch 1540 x 720 touchscreen and MIB 3 software. Premium Plus trim gets the Audi virtual cockpit; all models get wireless Apple CarPlay and the integrated toll module. Audi has removed the rotary controller in the center console, figuring the touchscreen and steering wheel controls will be sufficient.

MIB 3 includes a number of new features. There’s a customizable homescreen UI, which can be configured with three widget blocks. Online voice processing promises improvements in command recognition, and there’s new live data for things like traffic flow – which is now shown per lane – plus parking space information complete with the probability of finding a space. Traffic Light Information now shows what speed to drive to make the next green light, in locations where traffic light data is available.

Audi is also leaning more heavily on the cloud. Driver profiles are now stored remotely, and so can be accessed from any compatible Audi model moving forward. There’ll also be support for post-purchase upgrades of things like navigation and the smartphone interface, either as a permanent feature or for either a one or 12 month period.

Lane departure warnings, front and rear parking sensors, Audi side assist with pre sense rear plus rear cross traffic alerts are all standard, too. Premium Plus cars get adaptive cruise control with active lane assist, plus the 360-degree camera. A Convenience package adds a heated steering wheel, while navigation and a head-up display are optional too.

The 2021 Q5 will be priced from $43,300 plus destination, while the 2021 Q5 PHEV will start at $51,900. Finally, the 2021 SQ5 will start at $52,900. Audi says the 2021 Q5 will arrive in US dealerships in Q4 2020.


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