The biggest changes to Audi’s all-new Q5 go beneath the surface

Audi’s U.S.-bound RS3 sedan may be the brand’s biggest Paris Motor Show news, but the German automaker also introduced its next generation Q5 among Parisian festivities.

The Q5 luxury compact crossover has been on sale since 2009 and despite some minor tweaks since then, it has yet to receive a full makeover. A cursory glance at this all-new generation might miss the biggest changes, but there are several updates beneath the evolutionary design.

Audi’s best-selling crossover has adopted styling from its 2017 Q7 sibling, meaning the front fascia features the brand’s new single frame grille with horizontal bars in silver finish. The vehicle is a tad larger than the outgoing Q5, providing extra cargo capacity and legroom for rear passengers. Audi’s steel and aluminum platform is responsible for a weight reduction of 200lbs compared to the preceding model.

Read More: Audi Reveals Its RS3 Sedan In Paris

Capitalizing on the weight loss, Audi engineers have improved aerodynamics, reduced fuel consumption, and disconnected the rear axle when it’s not needed for an altogether more efficient package. To the benefit of its passengers, the Q5’s cabin is quieter thanks to a reduction in wind noise and vibration. In addition to the Q5’s damper settings for a more comfortable or sporty ride, ride height adjustments are now available.

Subtle styling tweaks aside, the Q5’s interior shows the greatest improvement. A Q7-esque dashboard layout, Virtual Cockpit driver display, ambient lighting, and new safety technologies push the new Q5 firmly into contemporary luxury territory.

Production will come from a brand new assembly plant in Mexico that opens on Friday. In Europe, the Q5 will be offered with five engine options, four of them being turbocharged diesel motors. Don’t expect America to see anything other than turbocharged gas motors after the Dieselgate shenanigans.

Speaking of the U.S., stateside buyers will have to wait until sometime late next year before placing orders, but European consumers will get a crack at the second-gen Q5 early 2017 at a starting price of $50,592.

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