Update: ‘Production’ section updated.
The Audi Q5 e-tron that made its world debut at Auto Guangzhou 2021 in November 2021 entered its first and perhaps only market, China, in mid-2022. Here’s everything we know about the regional Audi electric SUV.
What is it?
The Audi Q5 e-tron is not the successor to the Audi e-tron but a longer, more spacious version of the Q4 e-tron that debuted in April 2021. Like the VW ID.6 that it is based on, this electric SUV is reserved for the Chinese market.
From every angle, the Audi Q5 e-tron looks like a big brother of the Q4 e-tron. Its shape and design are very similar to those of the global compact electric SUV. This is another indication that the Q5 e-tron is a China-only model, as Audi wouldn’t design two global models very closely.
At the front, the designers have used split headlamps. The flat upper half comprises the DRLs that can double as dynamic turn signals, and the lower half vertically stacked main driving lights, both low and high beams. Audi will offer the Matrix LED lights for the high beam.
Instead of a traditional grille, the Q5 e-tron has a closed panel, a structured surface with horizontal inserts. A chrome border surrounds this faux Singleframe, along with a black mask outside it. A powerfully contoured, curved blade extending under it runs sharply up at the ends. Vertical air inlets extend from below the headlamps, giving a sporty styling to the front-end.
The Q5 e-tron has a conventional SUV profile like the e-tron and Q4 e-tron. The roofline slants down gently, ensuring the dynamic look doesn’t significantly affect the headroom. It has a relatively straighter roofline like the VW ID.6, which would mean more headroom and better suitability for rear-seat-preferring Chinese customers. Audi hasn’t used flush door handles on the Q5 e-tron. The company isn’t a fan of pop-out door handles and has stuck to the classic type even on the flagship EV – the e-tron GT.
At the rear, the Q5 e-tron has a confident and striking design. In addition to the familiar crossover-style hunched tailgate, the new model makes a fashion statement with a wide V-shaped license plate area, sleek tail lamps with a thin light band connecting them, and an e-tron logo embossed in the skid plate.
The Audi Q5 e-tron apes the Q4 e-tron on the inside. From the new-generation Audi steering wheel with flattened top and bottom sections to the fancy dashboard with sharp lines and angular AC vents on the sides of the steering wheel, the hexagonal binnacle for the operating display, the wide driver-side-tilted touchscreen, the floating operating panel below the climate control operating unit, the e-tron badge on the driver-side dashboard, and the triangular door handle section, it borrows almost every part from the Q4 series.
The Audi Q5 e-tron is a three-row electric SUV that comes in 6-seat and 7-seat configurations, and both versions offer a flat floor. Second-row occupants get their own AC vents located between the front seats, and there’s a central armrest for their comfort. Key interior features of the Q5 e-tron include a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, Augmented Reality Head-Up Display, touch-operated steering wheel buttons, 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D surround sound system, and a panoramic sunroof.
Audi offers the Q5 e-tron with the Audi Pro pilot suite of autonomous driving technologies. The company has equipped it with the Mobileye EyeQ4 processor, 3 mm-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, 4 surround-view cameras, and a multifunctional camera for L2+ assisted driving.
The Audi Q5 e-tron is the premium cousin of the China-only VW ID.6 and shares the same VW MEB platform. It measures 4,876 mm (192.0 in.) in length, 1,860 mm (73.2 in.) in width, and 1,675 mm (65.9 in.) in height. It has a 2,965 mm (116.7 in.) wheelbase identical to the VW ID.6.
Leaked details before the unveil suggested that the Q5 e-tron will come in three variants, namely Q5 35 e-tron, Q5 40 e-tron, and Q5 50 e-tron quattro. However, only the Q5 40 e-tron and Q5 50 e-tron quattro are available since launch.
|Parameter||Audi Q5 e-tron Specs||VW ID.6 Specs||Difference|
|Length||4,876 mm (192.0 in.)||4,876 mm (192.0 in.)||–|
|Width||1,860 mm (73.2 in.)||1,848 mm (72.8 in.)||-12 mm (-0.5 in.)|
|Height||1,675 mm (65.9 in.)||1,680 mm (66.1 in.)||-5 mm (-0.2 in.)|
|Wheelbase||2,965 mm (116.7 in.)||2,965 mm (116.7 in.)||–|
Audi Q5 40 e-tron & 50 e-tron
The Q5 40 e-tron has a single-motor RWD configuration but a more powerful 150 kW (201 hp) motor. The torque output stands at 310 Nm (229 lb.-ft.).
The Q5 50 e-tron quattro is a dual-motor AWD configuration with an 80 kW (107 hp) front motor and a 150 kW (201 hp) rear motor. United Automotive Electronic Systems is the supplier of the new electric SUV’s rear motor, whereas Huayu Magna Electric Drive System makes the front motor. The front and rear motors together deliver 225 kW (302 hp) and 472 Nm (348 lb.-ft.) of torque. A 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint takes 6.7 seconds.
Battery & Performance
The Q5 40 e-tron and Q5 50 e-tron share an 83.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a CLTC range of 560 km (348 miles) in the former and 550 km (342 miles) in the latter.
163.com has driven the Q5 e-tron and says its performance is “unforgettable.” Weighing 2.4 tons or approx. 5,300 pounds, it’s a heavy SUV, but it still behaves quite smoothly, whether making a sharp turn or a sudden lane change. The new electric SUV performs just as well off the road and, with eAWD, offers a faster response than the conventional quattro that uses a mechanical differential.
|Aspect\Specification||Audi Q5 40 e-tron||Audi Q5 50 e-tron|
|System Power||150 kW (201 hp)||225 kW (302 hp)|
|System Torque||310 Nm (229 lb.-ft.)||472 Nm (348 lb.-ft.)|
|Battery Pack Capacity||83.4 kWh||83.4 kWh|
|Energy Consumption Rating||15.9 kWh/100 km||16.2 kWh/100 km|
|Range (CLTC)||560 km (348 miles)||550 km (348 miles)|
|0-80% DC Fast-Charging Time||40 minutes||40 minutes|
|0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) Acceleration Time||9.3 seconds||6.7 seconds|
Future Q5 e-tron variants
The unlisted Q5 35 e-tron is a single-motor RWD configuration with a 132 kW (177 hp) motor. A range-topping Audi Q5 60 e-tron is also under development, k.sina.com.cn revealed through a spy shot on December 11, 2021. This variant should have individual motors for the front and rear axles, but the power and torque outputs could be dialed-up. We have yet to determine whether the battery pack will be the same 83.4 kWh unit or if a bigger capacity has been planned.
The Audi Q5 e-tron is a product of the SAIC Volkswagen joint venture company. SAIC Volkswagen manufactures it at the world’s first greenfield MEB plant in Anting, China. Notably, the company also builds the VW ID.3, VW ID.4 X, and VW ID.6 X at this factory. The entire production process at the facility is CO2-free as SAIC Volkswagen only uses renewable energy.
In 2021, SAIC Volkswagen manufactured 99 units of the Q5 e-tron, and in 2022, with production ramping up, it built 2,042 units. The Q5 e-tron represents a tiny fraction of the total sales volume of all MEB platform vehicles, which has reached one million units, as per an announcement Volkswagen Group made in June 2023.
On July 15, 2022, the Sino-German joint venture company announced that it had built its 25 millionth vehicle. The milestone car was an Audi Q5 e-tron in its range-topping Art Creation Collector’s Edition trim, which is exclusive to the 50 e-tron quattro variant.
The Audi Q5 e-tron’s prices range between CNY 298,500 (USD 41,205) and CNY 336,000 (USD 46,381) in the 40 e-tron variant and CNY 415,500 (USD 57,355) and CNY 432,500 (USD 59,702) in the 50 e-tron variant.
SAIC-Volkswagen says that because of an excellent battery management system, the Q5 e-tron consumes as little as 15.9 kWh/100 km (62 miles). Thus, the cost of driving it for 100 km (62 miles) is a measly CNY 15 (USD 2). The purchase price includes two years of insurance, a 3-year/100,000 km vehicle warranty, an 8-year/160,000 km electric component warranty, three years of unlimited free public charging, and a free Audi wallbox charger with free installation.
The Q5 35 e-tron and Q5 60 e-tron variants may go on sale in the Chinese market in the coming months. Unlike the Q5 e-tron, the upcoming Q6 e-tron will be a global model, and also sold in the U.S.
Audi: In China, for China
Audi has adapted products to a great extent for Chinese customers over the last two decades. It began with the launch of a specially developed A6 with a long wheelbase in 1999. The company has since upgraded its China strategy to launch China-exclusive models in addition to exclusive long-wheelbase versions of global models.
In 2019, Audi launched the Q2 L e-tron in China, and in 2021, the Audi A7L. However, these were derivatives. The company will continue with this market-specific approach, the basis of which, Werner Eichhorn, former President of Audi (China), said, is the idea of ‘In China for China.’
Audi Q5 e-tron FAQs
What is the Audi Q5 e-tron price?
The Q5 e-tron’s prices start at CNY 298,500 (USD 41,205).
What is the Audi Q5 e-tron release date in Europe & U.S.?
The Q5 e-tron is unlikely to launch globally as it appears to be a China-only exercise. The Q6 e-tron, however, would be a global car.
Featured Image Source: Audi