2012 Audi Q5 Hybrid Quattro: First Drive Review - VIDEO ENHANCED


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2012 Audi Q5 Hybrid Quattro

By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel

SEE ALSO: Audi Buyers Guide

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2012 Audi Q5 Hybrid Quattro

MALLORCA, Spain - June 21, 2011: The Q5 is Audi’s first model that gets a hybrid drive line. But wait, I have to say: modern hybrid technology, since Audi introduced a hybrid system in 1989 on the Audi 100 Avant Duo Concept. In the nineties, it was succeeded by a Duo II concept and the A4 Duo III. The latter was the first hybrid model built in Europe. Because of its high price, demand was zero and only 70 units were produced.

Audi feels the time is right for a new entry with up-to-date hybrid technology that gets energy from a 39 kW lithium-ion battery pack, consisting of 72 cells.

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2012 Audi Q5 Hybrid Quattro

The Q5 that debuted three years ago was not developed with a hybrid drive line in mind. Audi choose the model because it is well accepted in North America, where a strong growth in market share of hybrid cars is expected.

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2012 Audi Q5 Hybrid Quattro

The Q5 is also large enough to safely store the Sanyo li-ion battery without – according to Audi - loosing too much space. It is stowed under the floor of the luggage compartment, of which the volume nevertheless decreases from 19.06 (max 55.06) cu-ft to 16.24 (max. 52.37) cu-ft. Audi has performed crash tests from the rear according to both European and American standards at 37 and 50 mph, showing the battery remains untouched.

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2012 Audi Q5 Hybrid Quattro

With the Q5 hybrid quattro it is possible to drive 62 mph in electric mode, but that will not get you any further than just over half a mile, provided the circumstances are optimal. That means that the battery is fully loaded, the air conditioning is not in use and the road is horizontal. Traveling at 37 mph in electric mode only you can go for 1.8 miles.

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2012 Audi Q5 Hybrid Quattro

During the first drive with the hybrid Q5, it proved to be impossible to reach 62 mph in the manually activated EV-mode. We did reach 37 mph, but saw the needle that indicates the charging state of the battery quickly moving to ‘empty’ and felt the petrol engine taking over.


Click PLAY to watch the Audi Q5 promo video

We asked Audi engineer Krondichler why a quattro model was chosen for the premiere of a hybrid drive line. He admitted that the quattro-drive system needs extra energy. “With the upcoming (within 2-3 months, HH) front wheel drive A6 hybrid, the energy loss will be considerably less,” he said. “But as a brand, you’ll have to start somewhere and three years ago we decided it had to be the Q5.”

Mr. Krondichler expects the first Audi plug-in hybrid to arrive on the market within the next two to three years. “That will be a model that is especially developed for such technology.”

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2012 Audi Q5 Hybrid Quattro

The hybrid Q5’s drive line consists of the 155 kW/211 hp strong 2.0-liter TFSI 4-cylinder petrol engine that works together with a 40 kW/54 hp electric motor, generating a brief peak system power output of 180 kW/245 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. Even with a weight increase of 287 lbs, fuel consumption is 6.9 l/100 km (34,09 US mpg) in the European cycle, 0.5 l/100 km (2,47 mpg) less than the standard 2.0 TFSI model. CO2-emission is 159 g/km (255.89 g/mile).

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2012 Audi Q5 Hybrid Quattro

The disk-shaped electric motor is placed in the housing of the automatic 8-speed Tiptronic transmission. It replaces the torque converter and is combined with the multi-plate clutch for coupling and decoupling the electric motor and the TFSI engine.

Being a hybrid, does not mean the Q5 lost a sporty character. Provided you do not pay attention to the left gauge in the instrument panel, that has replaced the rev counter and shows the hybrid system’s operating status, the SUV reacts quickly on input of your right foot. The electro mechanical power steering gives good response at higher speeds and asks for little effort when parking. The transmission shifts quickly, but you do feel it working, especially going from D4 to D3. The new rear suspension controls brake drive which adds to e dynamic feel.

The Q5 hybrid quattro can sprint from 0-62 mph in 7.1 second and does 50-75 mph in just under 6 seconds. But after completing a short mountain route and a longer combined one, the board computer told us we used 9.3 l/100 km, or 25.5 mpg. It is not close to the ideal average fuel consumption, but the ‘greener’ image may be beneficial to people who feel that owning the big Q5 is a touch out of sink in their environment.

Is speaks for itself that with a 10.000 euro higher price (€ 53.700) than the 2.0 TFSI model, the standard equipment of the hybrid quattro is complete, with safety and assistance systems, 19 inch wheels, a premium audio system and different options. The Audi hybrid will arrive in European showrooms in November. It has not been decided when it can be expected on the American and Chinese markets, but probably not be before the fall of 2012.


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