Absolute Beginner

news: Absolute Beginner

By Guilherme Marques

The new Q5 Hybrid is a taste of things to come or Audi’s slogan would not be ‘progress through technology’.

The Q5 Hybrid Audi is the only press car I have driven twice. So, after eight days behind the wheel, I am fairly sure of what it is, why it was made and whom it is destined for.

I admit I wasn’t quite so sure the first time around, for two reasons: the existing 2.0 TDI quattro Auto version and the existing 3.0 TDI quattro Auto version. The first one sells for €54,534 and the second one for €74,009. They both average fuel consumptions of 6.7 and 7.5 litres for each 100km.

Now it becomes clear why it exists. And those who buy it are easy to define: they like premium badges, they like petrol engines, they like performance and they like state-of-the-art technology. The Q5 Hybrid has all of those.

Sadly, I don’t believe we will be seeing many of them here in Portugal, a diesel-loving country (and with good reason given the price you pay to fill up the tank).

Still, those who buy one will be privileged, as the first Hybrid coming out of Audi’s talented engineering team is as smooth and refined as you can imagine.

The switch between electric and thermal power goes almost unnoticed and the auto gearbox does all the work of managing the ideal setting for each of your driving nuances, leaving you to enjoy the brilliant interior, the comfort, the gadgets and the fantastic sound system.

It is fast, goes around corners like it weighs 250kg less than it does and I averaged 9.7 litres on the highway and 10.2 around town in the real world, squeezing every bit of power from the batteries. For me, those are impressive numbers for a car weighing 1,910 kg.

I am sure Hybrid Audis will keep on evolving and 10 years from now they will offer much more performance for much less fuel consumption, with an improved electric autonomy that may change the paradigm of automotive mobility. For now though, I would say the Q5 is a good place to start.