2018 Audi RS Q5 price, specs and release date

Mike Vousden
July 19, 2017

Rumours suggest the Audi Q5 could get a high-performance makeover to become the RS Q5 – it could use the same 2.9-litre turbo V6 as the RS5

  • High-performance Audi RS Q5 rumoured
  • Will use the RS5’s 450hp 2.9-litre turbo V6
  • quattro all-wheel drive will be standard
  • Could break cover in early 2018

Audi’s RS cars are known for their monumental performance, unshakable all-wheel-drive grip and excellent build quality. The next model in the firm’s range to get an RS makeover is thought to be the Q5 SUV. When it emerges as the RS Q5, it’ll offer even more blinding performance than the existing SQ5.

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Audi SQ5 shown throughout – RS Q5 will look even sportier when it arrives

Styling

The RS Q5 will get the usual Audi RS styling upgrades over the conventional Q5. That means larger alloy wheels with low-profile sports tyres, while the car’s track – the width between the left and right wheels – should be made wider to give it more stability.

Its front bumper will be deeper than the normal model and feature larger air intakes to better cool its more powerful engine. Wheelarches will be subtly flared to give it a more squat stance and the rear bumper will probably house a diffuser with two oval exhaust pipes poking out.

Interior

Inside, the RS Q5 will have a few choice upgrades over the regular model. Carbon-fibre-effect trim will be applied to the dashboard while heavily bolstered sports seats should help hold you in place around fast corners. The normal round steering wheel will be swapped out for a flat-bottomed version for a more race-car-like feel.

As a top-of-the-range model, the RS Q5 will come as standard with lots of equipment and tech. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital dials will probably be fitted as standard and could feature a unique RS-specific mode with lap times and other performance data. Beyond that, the familiar and easy-to-use Audi MMI infotainment system will handle all the entertainment and sat-nav functions.

Driving

To be a true RS model, the RS Q5 will have to prove itself out on the road. The secret to its immense speed will be the firm’s signature quattro all-wheel-drive system that can send the engine’s power to which ever axle needs it the most. It can also split the power between each rear wheel helping to tuck the car into corners and enhance high-speed stability.

Compared to a regular Q5, the suspension will be lower to make the RS Q5 more resistant to body roll – it will also be stiffer in general, trading a little ride quality for sportier handling. Adaptive dampers should also make an appearance as standard, letting you soften up the ride quality when cruising and firm it up when driving quickly.

The RS Q5 will use a similar 2.9-litre V6 and all-wheel-drive setup as the RS5, shown here

Engines

There will only be one engine in the RS Q5 and all signs point towards it sharing the new 2.9-litre turbo V6 petrol unit from the recently revealed RS5. This engine is noticeably more powerful than the unrelated 354hp 3.0-litre turbo V6 currently fitted to the SQ5, and will be shared with some Porsche models.

It’s expected to have the same 450hp output as the RS5 and a similarly healthy amount of torque, suggesting it’ll achieve a 0-62mph sprint time of less than five seconds. It’ll be mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox that’ll give it both quick-shifting reactions when driving briskly or smooth, slushy changes when you’re just pottering about.

Price and release date

The RS Q5 will cost between £65,000 and £70,000 when it goes on sale. We could get our first official glimpse at the 2018 Detroit Motor Show in January with deliveries arriving in late 2018.

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