The chassis harmonizes ideally with the character of the new Audi Q5 – it is sporty, comfortable and efficient. It was redeveloped in many areas, and it shows further weight saving compared to the previous model. The five-link constructions, which serve as the front and rear suspensions, are able to handle lateral and longitudinal forces separately.
The new SUV from Audi can continue to drive where the asphalt ends. Its axles enable good axle articulation, and its ground clearance (with the normal chassis) measures 208 mm (8.2 in). The vehicle’s approach angle is 25 degrees and its departure angle is 27 degrees, while its ramp angle measures 17 degrees.
The front suspension has a track width of 1,616 mm (5.3 ft). Its suspension links and pivot bearings are made of forged aluminum. The damper knuckles are made in a new type of process. It combines casting and forging and enables complex geometries of high strength. The friction-optimized wheel hub, made of forged steel, and the subframe made of aluminum and sheet steel also exhibit very lightweight designs.
Highly efficient: electromechanical power steering
The new power steering system, which cooperates closely with some of the driver assistance systems, has also been weight-optimized. It saves 0.7 kg (1.5 lb) and above all a lot of energy, because its electromechanical drive operates much more efficiently than a hydraulic system in which oil is continually circulating. Its steering gear is placed at the level of the wheel center, and it transfers forces directly to the wheels.
Steering in the new Audi Q5 conveys precise road contact, and it responds directly and offers high precision. Its power assist is reduced as the driving speed increases. For all engines with automatic transmission, there is the optional dynamic steering. Using a superposition gear, it varies its gear ratio primarily according to the driving speed and steering angle: more direct at slower speeds and for large steering angle inputs, and more indirect for expressway driving and small adjustments at the steering wheel. At cornering limits, the system counter steers with tiny pulses, which further boosts dynamics and driving safety.
At the rear of the new Audi Q5, a five-link suspension replaces the trapezoidal-link suspension of the previous model. Its weight-optimized and yet rugged wheel suspensions are made of steel or aluminum. The wheel suspensions are made of aluminum and the subframe of high-strength steel; elastomeric mounts with precisely defined damping properties join it to the body. As in the front suspension, the lightweight anti-roll bar is formed as a tube. The rear track width is 1,608 mm (5.3 ft).
The new Q5 offers a choice of chassis variants. Along with the standard suspension tuning, a sport suspension is also available. It is part of the S line sport package, which also includes 19-inch alloy wheels and numerous special interior solutions.
For engine models with quattro: suspension with damper control
An especially attractive solution is the suspension with damper control, which is available for all engine versions with a quattro drive. Its design is based on the CDC principle (CDC: continuous damping control): Electromagnetically actuated valves in the damper piston alter the through-flow cross-sectional area for the hydraulic fluid as necessary.
Management of the CDC dampers is incorporated into the electronic chassis platform – the newly designed control unit for the different chassis systems replaces the separate processors of the previous model. The electronic chassis platform processes a lot of information to generate a precise image of the current driving situation and the friction value of the road surface.
This lets it manage the individual systems with high precision, and its computing cycle is just milliseconds. In damper control, the spread between comfortable and dynamic driving is even greater and can be experienced much more than in the previous model. Operating speed has increased by around 50 percent, and energy consumption has been reduced.
Many driving modes: Audi drive select
Drivers of the new Audi Q5 can fine tune the work of damper control according to their own preferences. Just as for dynamic steering and the sport differential (options for the 3.0 TDI*), it is subject to control by the Audi drive select handling system. This system is a standard feature of all new Q5 versions, and it makes the driving experience even more well-rounded.
In the basic configuration, Audi drive select intervenes in the operation of the throttle, automatic transmission, steering and automatic air conditioning. The driver can select the comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and offroad modes at the touch of a button. In conjunction with an MMI navigation system, there is also an individual mode that is largely user-configurable.
If the optional air suspension with damper control and adaptive air suspension with adaptive damping are installed, the allroad mode is added and the offroad mode becomes lift/offroad. This lets the new Q5 achieve maximum offroad capability.
Always the ideal setup: adaptive air suspension
The air suspension with damper control also enables ride height control. The system is another new development for the Audi Q5. In the front suspension struts, air springs enclose the shock absorbers; these two components are implemented separately in the rear suspension. The compressor is located between the rear wheels. It fills a pressure reservoir, which is a low-profile tank located under the driver’s seat. In most situations, the pressure reservoir feeds the air spring bellows – it does this much faster than the compressor and its operation is nearly silent.
Overall, the adaptive air suspension lowers the body 22 mm (0.9 in) compared to the steel suspension. The system sets the ideal body position for every driving situation. In the lift/offroad mode of Audi drive select (up to 35 km/h (21.7 mph) speed), the body is 45 mm (1.8 in) higher than the normal level; in allroad mode (up to 80 km/h (49.7 mph)) it is still 25 mm (1.0 in) higher.
In the dynamic mode, the body is lowered 15 mm (0.6 in). In the other modes, this lowering automatically begins at a driving speed of around 120 km/h (74.6 mph). This increases driving stability and improves aerodynamics. For comfortable loading, the rear body can be lowered 55 mm (2.2 in) by pushing a button in the luggage compartment.
On sure footing: the wheels and brakes
The base line of the new Audi Q5 has 17-inch alloy wheels which are especially light at just around 9 kg (19.8 lb) per wheel. The design and sport lines offer 18-inch wheels in various designs. In the S line sport package and in the Audi design selection the wheel format is 19 inches. The options program from Audi and Audi sport covers numerous versions with 18-, 19- and 20-inch diameters, and the top format, 8.5 J x 21, will follow shortly after the market launch. For the 17-inch wheels, there is a version in an aero design with low aerodynamic drag.
Rigorous lightweight design can also be seen in the wheel brakes. In all engine versions of the Audi Q5, the front wheels are braked by very lightweight aluminum fixed caliper brakes, either 16 or 17 inches in diameter, and depending on the version with either four or six pistons.
The front wheels are equipped with internally-vented discs up to 350 mm (13.8 in) in diameter. The electromechanical parking brake is integrated into the rear axle and features new holding and drive-off functions. Many aspects of Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) have been extensively updated; it is now even more precise and sensitive than in the previous model. Activating sport mode will largely deactivate engine intervention and somewhat minimize braking intervention.
While the new Audi Q5 offroad is being driven, the system allows more slip during braking and acceleration to improve traction. Another ESC function is hill descent control – when driving down a descent in an offroad situation, the system controls vehicle speed according to the driver’s desired speed over a range between four and 30 km/h (2.5 to 18.6 mph). In conjunction with MMI navigation, a tilt angle indicator is installed when either the adaptive air suspension or damper control is ordered. The indicator shows the vehicle’s pitch and roll angles on the large MMI monitor. Supplemental screens show other offroad information.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.