Despite looking very much like a 75 per cent scale of its full-size brother, the Q5 shares nothing with the Q7. It is based on a car platform – the new A4’s modular chassis, which is apt enough as it’s more in tune with on-road performance than Humvee- challenging antics. There is no ladder frame chassis or dedicated four-wheel-drive transfer case and the suspension layout is more corner-carver than scenery-climber. It doesn’t use a fancy air suspension system either; instead it relies on steel springs that are fully independent at each corner.
Part of the reason that the Q5 can snap at sports cars’ heels on mountain roads is because it comes with a full-time four-wheel-drive system (which, as a default, distributes power with a 60 per cent rear bias) and a chassis that is stiffer than the average English upper lip. The only concession it makes for off-roading is the hill descent control and an off-road ESP setting, not to mention decent ground clearance. It has little extra technology to help should its owners wish to head off into the wild, which few will of course. The Q5 does have an option of adjustable damper control and variable-ratio steering in other markets, but Audi isn’t offering it in India as yet.
Thanks to the wide stance and high bonnet, the Q5 looks quite brawny and it also comes with the added benefit of a big boot. Despite being compact, it does however tip the scales on the wrong side of 1.5 tonnes. The Q5 weighs a substantial 1,865kg. It also comes with space saver wheels.
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Issue: 166 | June 2013
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