Audi Australia will launch a plug-in hybrid Q5 SUV and Q5 Sportback in the second half of this year, it has confirmed, despite the fact this generation is nearing replacement.

    The company has been evaluating this derivative for a local launch since at least 2021, but demand in Europe and ongoing production shortages haven’t helped its cause.

    The Q5 55 TFSI e quattro S line PHEV derivative will offer a claimed 55km maximum electric range, and potent system outputs of 270kW and 500Nm – allowing a 5.3-second 0-100km/h dash.

    This makes it a performance halo alongside the SQ5 TDI, with its 251kW and 700Nm diesel V6 with 48V mild-hybrid battery and 5.1 second 0-100km/h time.

    Its drivetrain pairs a 195kW/370Nm 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine with a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, quattro AWD, a 105kW/350Nm electric motor, and 17.9kWh (14.4kWh useable) battery.

    Audi claims the 55km EV range for the regular body and 53km for the Sportback, which is odd because you’d have thought this body shape would be more aerodynamic. It equates to claimed fuel consumption of 2.0L/100km with a full starting charge.

    The default hybrid drive mode uses battery charge optimally across the (online) navigation route in order to keep power use down, unless you want to set it to pure EV mode.

    There are also modes to use the engine-generator to charge the battery (Charge), and to keep the current state of charge for later use (Hold).

    The electric motor’s adjustable regenerative braking system can decelerate to 0.2g and recover up to 80kW of electrical power if desired, with hydraulic brakes activated only occasionally.

    The car is supplied with all charging equipment including a 240V three-pin Australian Standard plug, 230V and 32 Amp industrial plug and wall bracket for mounting the charger at home, and a Type 2 charging cable for use at public stations.

    The Q5 PHEV’s S line package means 20-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels in a five-spoke design.

    Other exterior features will include a panoramic sunroof, rear privacy glass, powered tailgate, proximity key, auto side mirrors with memory and auto dimming, and aluminium roof rails with crossmembers supplied.

    Inside are leather seats with heating and power adjustment, three-zone climate control, 30 ambient lighting choices, Audi virtual cockpit digital instrument cluster, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB+, and a 10-speaker sound system.

    The Q5 Sportback 55 TFSI e quattro S line features an S line interior package bringing Nappa leather with diamond pattern stitching, and brushed aluminium inlays. The Sportback also swaps the regular SUV’s LED headlights for Matrix LEDs.

    The new Q5 PHEV will give Audi’s mid-sized SUV staple – its second top-selling car here behind the smaller Q3 – a rival to plug-in hybrid versions of the BMW X3 (xDrive30e), Volvo XC60 (Recharge) and Lexus NX (450h+).

    However close adversary Mercedes-Benz is taking a different path, opting to axe the PHEV option for its new-generation GLC citing low demand.

    The Q5 55 TFSI e quattro S line is the first Audi PHEV sold here since the 2018 Q7 e-tron and the smaller A3 e-tron which ended in 2016.

    Australian customer sentiment clearly favours full-electric vehicles (EVs) and regular hybrids. EV sales in 2022 across Australia tallied 33,410 units, while regular (Toyota-style) hybrids found 81,786 buyers. PHEVs however languished with just 5937 sales.

    The current-generation Q5 has been on sale locally since 2017 and it received a refresh in 2021. The coupe-SUV Sportback version of the Q5 and SQ5 joined the local range in August 2021.

    That means the PHEV arrives shortly before the new, third-generation Q5 makes its world premiere. The next-gen version has been spied undergoing final-stage testing in Europe.

    “The introduction of the Q5 PHEV makes perfect sense for the varied lifestyles of Australian customers,” says Audi Australia director Jeff Mannering.

    “With its all-electric capability for urban driving and its powerful TFSI engine for longer trips, it delivers the best of both worlds without compromise.

    “The size and appointment of the Q5 has made it a resounding success since its first introduction and offering this powerful plug-in hybrid variant will significantly broaden the appeal of the already impressive Q5 lineup in Australia.”

    2023 Audi Q5 pricing

    • Q5 35 TDI: $66,900
    • Q5 40 TDI quattro: $74,200
    • Q5 45 TFSI quattro: $74,500
    • Q5 40 TDI Sport quattro: $80,200
    • Q5 45 TFSI Sport quattro: $81,500
    • Q5 55 TFSI e quattro S line: $102,900 – PHEV variant
    • SQ5 TDI quattro: 110,400

    2023 Audi Q5 Sportback pricing

    • Q5 40 TDI quattro: $82,000
    • Q5 45 TFSI quattro: $90,600
    • Q5 55 TFSI e quattro S line: $110,200 – PHEV variant
    • SQ5 TDI quattro: $116,200

    MORE: Everything Audi Q5

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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