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2013 Audi Q5 : First Drive
The beautiful roads of Munich threw up an unfamiliar picture. The home of the brilliant BMW’s was for the moment taken over by the giants from Ingolstadt. A bunch of super fast SUVs with four rings on the nose going all guns blazing did make an amazing sight. The super fast SUV in question here is the all-new Audi Q5. Popular in both the international and Indian markets, the Q5 receives a few minor exterior and interior changes and not to mention a major heart transplant as well. Far more importantly, the 2013 Audi Q5 has new optional engines and is available as a hybrid for the first time.
On the outside, the 2013 Q5 sports a new chamfered Audi single-frame grille and a flatter roofline. The hood and wrap-around tailgate are now made of aluminium to save weight. Optional xenon headlights incorporate LED daytime running lights that give this crossover SUV a distinctive look. Inside the cabin, there are new colours and new leather/fabric upholstery available as well. The standard Audi Q5 comes equipped with a turbocharged and direct-injected 211bhp 2.0-litre inline-4, the same engine also found in the A4 model line. It is mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.
As for the fuel-conscious folks, the 2013 Audi Q5 will now be available as a hybrid too. It’s equipped with the 211PS 2.0 TFSI inline-4 coupled to a 54hp electric motor drawing power from lithium-ion batteries located at the rear. Joined together by a clutch, the engine and electric motor deliver power to the wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox and quattro all-wheel drive. The Q5 Hybrid can travel 3.04km in pure electric mode.
For the enthusiast, the 2013 Q5 has improved electric-assist steering. What’s more, the Audi drive select feature allows the driver to choose between Comfort and Sport modes, the latter offering sharper steering and throttle response. Perhaps the most welcome upgrade in the new Q5 is Audi Connect, a system that uses Google Maps for a richer navigational experience.
On top of connecting to the Internet for more available travel services accessible via Audi’s MMI infotainment interface, the Q5 can also act as a WiFi hotspot for up to eight mobile devices, which should help keep techno-holics entertained on long road trips. On country roads around Munich, the Q5 displayed a quiet and comfortable ride. The hybrid and the 2.0 TFSI powertrains have plenty of pep to pass slower traffic. The 3.0-litre V-6 has more punch, thanks to its 400Nm of torque.