The Audi Q5 isn’t quite due for a refresh, but that’s not stopping the German automaker from giving the greasy bits a good once over for 2018.
The most important change to the 2018 Q5 is its new Quattro all-wheel-drive system with Ultra technology that replaces the old (but still damn fine) Quattro system. This new Quattro system not only retains the legendary traction and responsiveness of the last version, but it also drastically improves fuel economy.
It does so by using a clutch in the rear axle that disengages it and the wheels. This turns the rear wheels into “drag” wheels, thereby improving fuel economy. Additionally, this system uses a an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch to adjust torque between the front and rear axles for the most effective use of power.
While on-demand all-wheel drive is nothing new, what is new is how quickly this system responds. Many all-wheel-drive units take up to two seconds to engage, but the Q5’s system does the same in less than 250 milliseconds. What’s more, the computer that controls this new all-wheel-drive setup analyses new conditions in 10 milliseconds and makes predictive changes for 500 milliseconds in the future – literally, it predicts what’s coming.
Check out the video of the new Quattro with Ultra technology below.
Like I mentioned, this system is tuned to increase fuel economy, and I’m not talking a fraction of a percent. It’s up 3 mpg in the city and combined cycles to 23 and 25 mpg, respectively. Highway mileage remains the same at 27 mpg.
The other big change is a new 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine. This unit sees its power increase to 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque – boosts of 32 ponies and 15 pound-feet. Also new is a seven-sped S tronic dual-clutch transmission in place of the 2017 model’s traditional eight-speed automatic. This result in a 0-60 mph time of just 5.9 seconds – a shocking 1.1 seconds quicker than the 2017 2.0-liter-equipped Q5.
From the looks of it, the 3.0-liter V-6-equipped Q5 will not be available in 2018. This comes as no surprise, as the new 2.0 TFSI engine makes this crossover more efficient and quicker than the even the V-6-equipped 2017 model.
The 2018 Audi Q5 will hit showrooms this month. It starts from $41,500 for the Premium trim and tops out at $50,800 for the Prestige trim.