In 3.2 guise, Audi’s Q5 is already packing plenty of power — but the latest round of spy shots from Motor Trend suggest the engineers in Ingolstadt may be planning another power boost. The hopped-up crossover shown here may well be a prototype for an S version of the Q5.
Initially, we thought the ute shown here was simply an update for the Q5, as it — like much of Audi’s lineup — is expected to receive a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 in lieu of the 3.2-liter six-cylinder currently in place. That said, this tester appears to rock larger disc brakes and calipers, big 20-inch wheels, and quad exhaust tips — a design cue found on almost every S car currently in production.
Audi execs have previously stated the company has no interest in making an S variant of any of its SUVs, but given Mercedes-Benz’s and BMW’s addition high-performance sport-utes, Audi may be having a change of heart. Currently, the most powerful Q5 is gets its grunt from Audi’s 3.2-liter V-6 making 270 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque, with the automaker claiming a 0 to 60 mph sprint in a respectable 6.7 seconds. Buyers who don’t opt for the V-6 receive a 211-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder. The company’s new supercharged three-liter (that is rumored to be under the hood of the car seen here) varies in output from as low as 272 hp in the Q7 SUV or as much as 333 hp in the S4 sedan, S5 Convertible, and Q7 S-Line trim.
An S variant of the Q5 — or even an S-Line model — would make logical sense, especially if the Q5 range mirrors the A4/S4 split. After axing the 3.2-liter from the A4 lineup, Audi elected to make the S4 — featuring the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 — the only way to obtain six-cylinder power. If a similar tactic is employed for the Q5, a Q5 S is almost certainly in the pipeline.
Source: Motor Trend