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Despite just launching a plug-in hybrid version of its second-generation Q5, Audi is gearing up to reveal its next-gen medium SUV.
The current model went on sale about six years ago in 2017, but a new version is just around the corner.
Audi is expected to whip the covers from the new third-generation model next year, and it will be a significant model, not just because it is one of the brand’s biggest sellers globally.
The next Q5 will be the last Q5 with an internal combustion engine before Audi switches to launching exclusively battery electric vehicles from 2026 on.
But it’s highly likely that the vast majority of the powertrains will be electrified, with at least mild-hybrid tech.
Speaking to CarsGuide at the launch of the Q5 55 TFSIe PHEV, Head of Product for Audi Australia, Matt Dale, cautiously suggested that the next-gen version would also carry forward the plug-in hybrid tech.
“If you had a look at the overall model lifecycle, obviously, vehicles do progress, you do get a new model. We don't have confirmed timing at this point, or we won't announce anything at this point,” he said.
“But in saying that, given that the PHEV technology that we've launched in its second phase being the facelift for the current generation, we'd like to see that obviously carry forward to a newer generation car and offer that transition as well.”
Expect the plug-in hybrid powertrain to play an even bigger part in the line-up in the next generation.
Reports from Europe suggest that the next Q5 will adopt a much more daring design than the current model. The existing SUV’s design is a clear evolution of the original Q5.
But the new model could adopt styling already seen on the Q5 e-tron from China, that was revealed in 2021.
The size and dimensions are likely to stick to the existing model, however.
While it was once the German giant’s biggest seller in Australia, the Q5 is now trailing the newer, and smaller Q3 for sales. Year to date Audi has sold 2789 Q3s and 2630 Q5s.
When it comes to its rivals, the Tesla Model Y EV is the segment’s biggest seller (17,332), but when it comes to more closely aligned rivals, the Lexus NX is the top seller (3425), followed closely by the Q5, then BMW X3 (2277).