The Audi Q5 is the most sporty SUV in its class thanks to its dynamic chassis. It now appears with new tuning and better balance of the spring, shock absorber and stabilizer characteristics.
The five-link front suspension, which has a track width of 1,617 mm (63.66 in) (2.0 TDI with front-wheel drive: 1,625 mm [63.98 in]), can handle longitudinal and transverse forces independently. In the transverse direction, its bearing supports are tuned for rigidity and thus for sporty precision, while they are comfortably soft in the longitudinal direction.
Many front suspension components are made of aluminum to reduce unsprung masses. This involves the integral load frame for the engine and axle, which is firmly bolted to the front end to increase rigidity, around the bearing block, and which joins the upper suspension link to the body, around the pivot bearing and around the five links per wheel. The tubular stabilizer also saves on weight.
The new electromechanical power steering system does not consume any energy in straight-line driving, which reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.3 liters (0.08 US gallons) per 100 km (62.14 miles). Its electric motor is integrated in the steering gear in a space and weight-saving design. The new steering system, which adapts its power assist to vehicle speed, has direct gearing with a gear ratio of 15.9:1; its feedback is spontaneous and precise. The turning circle of the Audi Q5 measures about 11.6 meters (38.06 ft) in diameter.
The car has a self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension, which combines low space requirements with superior driving properties. A steel cross member forms the high-strength backbone; it is joined to the body with large rubber mounts.
The trapezoidal link, wheel carriers, overhead transverse links and tie rods all consist of aluminum. As in the front suspension, tubular stabilizers have been weight-optimized here too.
The springs are supported directly on the wheel carriers and are mounted independent of the compressed gas shock absorbers, so that they can respond with high sensitivity. As an option, Audi can install the stiff S line sport suspension (standard with the S line sport package). In the Q5 2.0 TDI developing 105 kW (143 hp) and the Q5 hybrid quattro the entire body structure is lowered by 25 mm (0.98 in). The rear track width measures 1,614 mm (63.54 in) (2.0 TDI developing 105 kW: 1,620 mm [63.78 in]).
Five cars in one: Audi drive select
Every car has a character – the Audi Q5 has no less than five in one car when the Audi drive select dynamic handling system is installed. In its basic version, it gives the driver access to the accelerator pedal characteristic, automatic transmission shift points and amount of power steering assist. The driver can choose from four operating modes – comfort, auto, dynamic and efficiency. In the latter, the control modules for the air conditioning unit and cruise control are operated for optimal fuel efficiency. If a MMI navigation system is installed, the individual mode is available as well; drivers can program this mode themselves within certain limits.
Other components can be incorporated in the system as options, including a chassis with damping control. Its CDC shock absorbers (CDC: continuous damping control) utilize electromagnetically controlled valves to regulate the flow of the hydraulic fluid between the damper tubes. The control module individually computes the current required for each damper in cycles of just milliseconds; it also considers the condition of the road, the driver’s shifting style and the Audi drive select mode.
Another optional module that is subject to management by Audi drive select is dynamic steering. The centerpiece of this high-end system, which now also operates electromechanically, is a superimposition gearbox in the steering column, which is driven by an electric motor. This so-called shaft gearbox can vary the steering ratio by nearly 100 percent.
In city traffic, the dynamic steering system gives the driver a very direct feel for the road, while at high speeds, i.e. on expressways, it is intentionally indirect. At the performance limits of curve driving, it can minimize understeer and oversteer due to load alteration effects; its lightning-fast interventions make it unnecessary to use a lot of braking pulses. When braking on surfaces with split friction values, the system counteracts pulling to one side.
From 17 to 20 inches: wheels
The Q5 rides on large alloy wheels. On the 2.0 TDI, their diameter is 17 inches, and the tire size is 235/65. For engines developing 165 kW (225 hp) and more, 18-inch wheels with 235/60 tires are standard. As options, Audi and quattro GmbH can deliver wheels up to 20 inches in diameter and tires up to 255/45. There are some very attractive designs here – anthracite colors, semi-polished and in titanium look. The winter tires have 17-inch and 20-inch diameters. A tire pressure monitoring system that measures pressure indirectly and a repair kit are standard; a spare wheel with a folding tire is available as an option.
The brakes of the Audi Q5 have large dimensions. Four-cylinder engines have 320 mm (12.60 in) front discs and 300 mm (11.81 in) rear discs. In the internally ventilated front brakes, hundreds of small metal cubes join the two halves of the brake discs; these cubes can dissipate a lot of hot air in a very short time. As an option, Audi can add a hold assist function to the standard electromechanical parking brake.
On the Q5 3.0 TDI and the 3.0 TFSI, all four discs – 345 mm (13.58 in) front discs and 330 mm (12.99 in) rear discs – are internally ventilated. The fixed calipers, produced as aluminum composites, are distinguished by their low weight and high strength.
In components with stringent requirements, high-strength ductile cast iron is used; the aluminum brake piston housing conducts heat away very well.
Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) in the Q5 is a highly advanced system. In conjunction with the electromechanical steering system, it supports the driver in braking and countersteering on roadways that are slippery on one side.
The system uses a sensor to detect whether a roof crossbar is mounted, since this shifts the center of gravity of the Q5 upwards, and it adapts its control work accordingly. In the Q5 2.0 TDI developing 105 kW (143 hp), the ESC system integrates the electronic limited-slip differential – a software solution that increases stability in fast curve driving by applying minimal brake interventions to the front wheel on the inside of the curve.
Another feature integrated in ESC is offroad detection, which detects the composition of the road and is activated by a pushbutton. During acceleration, the system improves forward propulsion on loose substrates by tolerating more slip. On a steep descent, hill descent assist, which is also standard, maintains a constant vehicle speed over a range between 9 and 30 km/h (5.59 to 18.64 mph).
The Audi Q5 with a quattro drive system cuts a good figure offroad as well. Its axles permit a diagonal offset of up to 160 mm (6.30 in), and its climbing ability is very high at 31 degrees. Short overhangs enable approach and departure angles of 25 degrees each. The SUV’s ramp angle is 17.6 degrees, and its maximum side gradient is 25 degrees. Ground clearance is 20 cm (7.87 in), and it has a fording depth of up to 50 cm (19.69 in).
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.