Audi is in Northern Europe to put the finishing touches on the third-generation Q5. The official reveal should be closer as the prototypes now wear the full production body with the final headlights and taillights. Our spies spotted a fleet of test vehicles representing different trim levels judging by the varied dual-exhaust design.
Initial impression is of a compact luxury crossover with design traits taken from the all-electric version Q4 E-Tron. However, it is easy to spot the functional grille needed to cool the combustion engine. Refreshingly, the grille looks smaller compared to that of the outgoing model. Those vertical cutouts in the corners of the front bumper are probably there for the air curtains.
With the full disguise applied, the side profile of the Q5 2024 resembles that of the Q4 E-Tron, but we’re sure the devil is in the detail. Once the camouflage is removed, there should be noticeable differences to differentiate the ICE and EV models. It should be noted that the two models run on completely different platforms, MLB Evo in the case of the Q5 and the electric-only MEB for the Q4 E-Tron.
At the rear, there’s a good chance there’s an LED light bar hidden in plain sight, flanked by sleek headlights. Shared with the greatest Q7, the tailgate clamshell layout is gone since we can clearly see the tailgate outline bisecting the taillights. This could mean that the opening will be a bit narrower than before.
While these prototypes appear to be lesser versions or at best an S Line, an SQ5 is coming as our spies have already spotted test vehicles with a quad exhaust system. Whether Audi will give the BMW X3 rival the RS treatment for the first time remains to be seen. If that happens, expect a plug-in hybrid setup given that the next RS4 Avant will be a PHEV.
Previous spy shots revealed a revamped dashboard with a giant tablet-like screen popping out of the dash. Unlike the current Q5 where the digital instrument cluster is seamlessly integrated into the dashboard, its replacement will have a standalone display. The car’s paparazzi noticed a prominent Quattro badge on the center console, which featured a handful of conventional controls. However, most functions will be accessible via the large touchscreen.
The latest generation of the Q5 to be sold with ICE power is expected to receive a wide range of mild-hybrid combustion engines shared with the next A4/A5. Logic tells us that at least one plug-in hybrid version is planned and hopefully the V6 engines will stick around for one more iteration.
Look for an official debut later this year, possibly after the new A4/A5.