Audi Q5 Sportback PHEV: the test drive in the hills

Audi Q5 Sportback PHEV: the test drive in the hills

Audi Q5 Sportback PHEV

Audi's best-selling sport utility ever in the coupé version becomes hybrid, this is how it behaves on the road

La Langa, a spit of land covered by vineyards and hazelnut trees between the Tanaro river and Liguria, is a circuit natural to enjoy a trip without the constraint of the destination. Doing it on a sport utility coupé with the advantage of electrification on tap takes the form of the perfect relaxing weekend.

In fact, our test drive aboard the new Audi Q5 Sportback TFSI and starts right from one of the symbolic places of the mens sana in corpore sano lifestyle: the Relais San Maurizio in Santo Stefano Bello. Its history began in 1619, when a group of Cistercian monks built a monastery on the remains of an ancient chapel built on a hill overlooking the Langhe.

Audi Q5 Sportback phev | ph: Simon | Palfrader © / Red

The aesthetics of Q5 Sportback phev

Among the twelve colors available to the press, we have chosen Ultra Blue. In our opinion it is the dress that best enhances the aesthetic characteristics of this sportback. A sports car with a two-volume body, sloping and tapered coupé-style tail. The rear window is very inclined and the trunk is included in the same "volume" as the passenger compartment. The 4.69 meters of this sport utility are characterized by the S Line trim.

It starts with 21-inch alloy wheels. We move on to the single frame finishes, thanks to the honeycomb S grille in titanium black with matt silver aluminum frame. The side air intakes are embellished with inserts also in matt silver aluminum. Ditto for the rear bumper in which the matt black extractor uses the horizontal aluminum insert. In addition, the S roof spoiler is provided. At the end, the presence of the S line logo along the sides.

Audi Q5 Sportback phev | ph: Simon | Palfrader © / Red

The rechargeable hybrid powertrain

Audi Q5 Sportback 2.0 (55) TFSI and quattro S tronic is the 11th plug-in hybrid model from the House of the four rings. The powertrain is made up of a 2.0 TFSI 4-cylinder engine: a direct injection turbocharged petrol engine with 265 horsepower and 370 Newton per meter of torque. This is followed by an electric permanent magnet synchronous type powertrain integrated, together with a separation clutch, in the 7-speed S tronic.

The zero-emission unit is capable of delivering 143 horsepower and 350 Newton per meter. The 55 TFSI variant in our equipment thus reaches 367 horsepower and 500 Newton per meter. The latter peak is available at an exceptionally low engine speed: 1,250 rpm. Values ​​that guarantee performance worthy of a sports car in the face of extraordinarily low fuel requirements, with a charged battery.

The Audi Q5 Sportback plug-in home charger | ph .: Simon Palfrader © / Red The quattro drive with ultra technology also comes in handy, which can reduce the difference in fuel consumption between a permanent all-wheel drive car and a front-wheel drive car by up to 60 percent. Sprint from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 5.3 seconds and a top speed of 239 kilometers per hour (135 km / h in purely electric mode). Consumption in the combined cycle WLTP varies from 1.6 - 1.8 liters per 100 kilometers. Obviously with the battery charged. Carbon dioxide emissions vary between 39 and 43 grams per kilometer traveled.

The maximum charging power of the Audi Q5 Sportback phev stands at 7.4 kW in alternating current (AC), while the socket is positioned above the left rear wheel arch. By drawing energy from an industrial socket (230V and 32A), it is possible to fully restore the electric range of the car in 2.5 hours, while relying on a common domestic socket, therefore without resorting to any infrastructural adaptation, little more is needed. of 8 hours.

The interior of the Audi Q5 Sportback phev | ph .: Simon Palfrader © / Red

Very low consumption

Believing in these scooter consumption is almost an act of faith. Upon departure from the relais, the 12.3-inch digital cockpit showed 410 kilometers of range in petrol and 36 in electric. With a charged battery, 62 WLTP kilometers can be traveled on electric. The stage in Langa included 42 kilometers of green ridges, dirt roads, state and provincial roads. Upon arrival at the Bosco delle Galline Volanti in Piazza Colbert in Barolo, the indicator gave me an electric range of another 28 kilometers. While the petrol one had remained stationary at 410 kilometers.

In practice, I consumed the equivalent of 8 kilometers, ie 15.6 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers. The result comes from having followed all the instructions of the Predictive Efficiency Assistant (PEA). This function really manages to increase electric range and driving pleasure by taking advantage of the automatic hybrid driving mode. By default, the Audi Q5 Sportback plug-in starts in electric mode. Travel with zero CO 2 emissions until you press the accelerator firmly.

Audi Q5 Sportback phev | photo: Simon Palfrader © / Red Once navigation to destination has been activated, the PEA optimizes the traction strategy by favoring both pure electric driving within urban contexts and energy recovery. An objective to which the information relating to the route, the traffic, the altitude profile to be tackled and the speed limits to be respected contribute to. Depending on the road signs, the distance from the vehicle in front and the conformation of the terrain (uphill or downhill), the PEA integrates the macro management of traction with a micro planning linked to specific driving situations.

This means that in a predictive manner the system signals the situations in which the driver should take his foot off the accelerator pedal. How? You are informed by an instrument warning and tactile feedback at the right pedal. In these cases, the car then sails with the engine off or recovers the energy released. The maximum in terms of efficiency is obtained in combination with adaptive cruise control which brings with it autonomous acceleration and braking.

Audi Q5 Sportback phev | photo: Simon Palfrader © / Red But in the winding streets of the Langa it was not possible for me to insert it. Among other things, after a few kilometers from the start, thanks to a stretch of several kilometers downhill, the autonomy had risen to 44 kilometers, therefore beyond that of departure. This is due to the high efficiency of the energy recovery system derived from Audi e-tron. While on the move, you can always choose between the EV, Auto, Hold and Charge programs. These respectively give priority to electric drive, automatic hybrid mode and energy saving for the benefit of a later stage of the journey or charging while traveling through the combustion engine.

Audi Q5 Sportback phev starts at 62,750 EUR. The price of the trial version, on the other hand, starts at 74,100 euros. The set-ups available are Business Advanced, S line, S line plus. The engines, even the diesel ones, are all mild hybrid or plug-in hybrid. Two formulas for driving one of the Q5 Sportback variants: Audi Value and Audi Value Noleggio. Both solutions make sure the future value of your Audi Q5 Sportback.

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