Audi family expands with new sporty SUV

This is the Audi Q5 – the small and sporty SUV which will take on the Land Rover Freelander and BMW X3.

The Audi Q5 was revealed at the Beijing Motor Show this weekend and will go on sale in the UK at the end of 2008, priced from about £30,000.

Audi’s familiar grille and body shape give the Audi Q5 a design which fits neatly between its big brother, the Audi Q7 and the German carmaker’s saloon and hatchback range.

At first, the Audi Q5 will be available with one petrol and two diesel engines. The 2-litre petrol, which produces 208bhp and 258lb/ft of pulling power accelerates from 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds and has a top speed of 138mph.

The most economical choice is a 2-litre, 168bhp diesel, which averages 42.1mpg.

The top-of-the-range 3-litre TDI V6 delivers 237bhp and a whopping 369lb/ft of pulling power. It sprints from 0-62mph in just 6.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 139mph, while Audi claims it should average 36.6mpg.

The smaller diesel engine has a conventional six-speed manual gearbox fitted, while the petrol and V6 diesel benefit from Audi’s latest seven-speed semi-automatic ‘S tronic’ gearbox.

With ‘S tronic’ fitted, the driver can choose to let the car change gear automatically or use steering wheel mounted switches to change gear manually.

All Audi Q5s will be fitted with the Quattro four-wheel-drive system which sends power to the wheels with the most grip.

Inside, the Q5 will get adjustable seating which can be changed quickly to suit its owner’s needs. The rear seats can be folded into the 540-litre boot.

Optional extras include blind-spot warning, Bang & Olufsen entertainment system, satellite navigation and a panoramic glass sunroof.

The Audi Q5 goes on sale in the UK at the end of the year with the price expected to start at about £30,000.

It will face competition from the Land Rover Freelander, BMW X3 and top-of-the-range Toyota RAV4 and Ford Kuga models.

View more pictures of the Audi Q5

By Andy Goodwin