An Artful Evolution

An Artful Evolution
The all-new 2018 Audi Q5 cuts quite a figure, while engineers give it the brains to compliment the beauty.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. They say that because it’s pretty obvious that the human experience is subjective. What we like, what we love, what we find desirable—they are unique to each person.

And yet, there are things so universally embraced that maybe there’s an objective truth to desire. Maybe there is an art to crafting near-universal agreement.

That thought ran through my head when I watched the world premiere of the all-new 2018 Audi Q5 at the Paris Motor Show. It’s the next generation of a vehicle that has proven that beauty is in the eye of many beholders—the 1.6 million beholders who own one, which puts the Q5 at, or near, the very top of the premium crossover utility vehicle sales charts.

As Rupert Stadler—Chairman of the Board of Management at Audi AG—said in Paris, he knew there would be challenges to improve on something already popular. “It was no easy task to design its successor, but that is precisely why it is so very exciting,” he said. “With the new Q5, we are setting the bar a notch higher.”
Sculpturally flared Singleframe® grille
So the question becomes “What about the Audi Q5 makes so many people love it?” As I dove deeper into how this second-generation model can improve from its first incarnation, I began to understand the objective truth behind its appeal. The people who crafted it sought to evolve it, not remake what made it beloved in the first place.
Building off what works
Evolution isn’t obviously dramatic, but the change of a few pounds or even inches can make all the difference. Consumers liked the size of the previous-generation Audi Q5, so designers made the cabin of the new crossover slightly larger, but—and this is the key—with innovations in lightweight components and structural engineering.

That makes a huge difference for both the comfort level in the interior and improvements in the overall driving capabilities. Here, too, the facts lay out a case for an emotional response. It starts with a matter of perspective.

Through horizontally oriented lines, the interior—with ample room for five passengers—doesn’t simply give the impression of width and comfort; it helps define it. Adding a three-dimensional trim strip that runs across the width of the instrument panel adds a sense of visual depth to the interior space.

The fullness of three dimensions is also found in how the interior handles sound. Not only is there an available Bang & Olufsen® sound system with 3D sound that goes deep to bring music to a warm, encompassing place beyond “surround”—but with new exterior designs and an enhanced chassis, the Audi Q5 enjoys low wind noise and negligible vibrations to help create the conditions that offer superior interior acoustics, no matter which sound system is installed.
This is a fully considered cabin experience, one artfully complimented by the optional ambient LED interior lighting plus package. Think of it as your own palette, one with 30 colors you can select from to illuminate your cabin with a hue that can create a particularly rich atmosphere for you and your passengers through a hue that can help calm you in traffic or enliven you on the open road.
In evolutionary terms, ‘every
millimeter counts’
One of the fascinating things about the 2018 Audi Q5 is how the biggest launch for the company truly emphasizes the thought put into the smallest details and helps the vehicle stand out as a well-crafted, dynamic vehicle. You can see the small touches and, when driving, feel them too.
This kind of thinking—improve and evolve a beloved vehicle—is a result of an optimization philosophy that starts with the exterior design of the vehicle. A flatter front, exterior mirrors and even curved fillets at the rear window are specifically designed to help create a clean break in the airflow to lessen drag.
“It was no easy task to design its successor, but that is precisely why it is so very exciting. With the new Audi Q5, we are setting the bar a notch higher.”
One key area in aerodynamic work, particularly on a crossover, is the underbody. “We’ve implemented a whole raft of individual measures,” said Dr. Thomas Blacha, Lead Engineer of Aerodynamic Development, “solutions such as small front spoilers, a long area of encapsulation and cladding at the rear axle. The front muffler has been aerodynamically optimized and positioned further toward the rear, which helps improve airflow out of the engine compartment. Every millimeter counts.”
Refining the drive
While we’ve talked about how aerodynamics can help with its driving dynamics, the 2018 Audi Q5 has other features that help it deliver a refined, powerful experience. Start with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder TFSI® engine that can deliver 252 hp and has a faster 0–60 time than the previous 3.0 V6T variant—ample numbers that are further enhanced by the new, standard quattro® all-wheel drive with ultra® technology.

This innovative quattro® system disengages the rear-axle drive whenever it is not needed. If necessary, it can predictively re-engage it without reducing traditional quattro® traction or its signature driving dynamics.

But in both the front-wheel drive and quattro® drive variants, torque vectoring helps produce a more dynamic and precise driving experience.

In this spirit of small advancements that make a big difference, it’s the chassis of the new Audi Q5 that helps set it apart from other mid-sized crossovers on the road. It starts with a newly developed rear five-link suspension and a new electromechanical power steering system that helps deliver control and sculpted power.

The all-new Audi Q5 is following in its Audi Q7 and A4 siblings’ footsteps from an innovation standpoint by offering an available Audi virtual cockpit, with its brilliant graphics and high-res 12.3-inch screen that can deliver traditional instrumentation imagery, available navigation maps or media inputs at the touch of a button or two.

Also like the Q7 and the A4, the Audi Q5 has an available self-learning “personal route assist” function that takes navigation one step further. After activating this function, the available navigation system learns the routes and destination that the customer regularly selects, and it pairs this information to real-time traffic, the vehicle’s parked position and the time of day.
Larger, more
interior canvas
European model shown.
Technologically evolved, too
Meanwhile, you can stay connected through the available MMI® navigation plus, and an available Wi-Fi® hotspot, letting passengers go online with up to eight compatible mobile devices. The standard Audi smartphone interface also brings Apple CarPlay™ and Google™ Android Auto into the new Audi Q5.[1]

More innovation appears in its available advanced driver assistance systems.

The predictive efficiency assistant helps the driver save fuel by using specific information about the car’s surroundings. While available Audi adaptive cruise control with stop & go including Traffic jam assist can handle some of the steering work in slow-moving traffic, it’s this last feature that captures the ethic involved with creating an all-new Q5.
Also like the Audi Q7 and A4, the Audi Q5 has an available self-learning “personal route assist” function that takes navigation one step further.
“The Audi Q5 is unique in the segment with its two radar sensors for the adaptive cruise control. However, it’s not just the sensors themselves that are crucial but also the detail development work done in its application,” said Patrick Tauber, Project Leader for Driver Assistance Systems.

It’s those details, found throughout the vehicle, that meet Chairman Stadler’s challenge from Paris to set the bar a notch higher: small design touches that make the Q5 subtly but noticeably different than the previous generation; the use of different materials to make the ride sturdier yet at a lower curb weight; the inches gained to make for a markedly larger interior; and, as Tauber said, the detail work done to make it uniquely evolved.