Audi is keeping itself quite busy these days at the Nürburgring where the Ingolstadt-based marque is putting the finishing touches on the new Q5.

Audi is keeping itself quite busy these days at the Nürburgring where the Ingolstadt-based marque is putting the finishing touches on the new Q5.

It looks like the new midsize premium crossover hit the gym and from some angles the 2017 Q5 seems a tad smaller than the outgoing model. However, that might be because all of the body camouflage. In typical Audi fashion, the design seems to be an evolution rather than a revolution, and it should mirror the larger Q7. However, there are some differences between the two, with the most obvious one so far being the more curved taillights of the Q5.

Audi’s latest take on the corporate singleframe front grille will dominate the fascia and most likely the chrome border of the grille will be linked to the full LED headlights as seen on the Q7. Judging by the dual exhaust tips and the larger wheels, this is a prototype of a higher specification Q5 and it could be powered by the 3.0 TDI.

Riding on the same MLB Evo platform as the A4 (B9), the new Audi Q5 will use just about the same array of four- and six-cylinder TFSI and TDI engines. The switch to new underpinnings is expected to bring a considerable diet of up to 220 pounds (100 kilograms) which in return will improve both performance and efficiency.

Speaking of performance, hotter SQ5 versions in both gasoline and diesel flavors will join the lineup later during the car’s life cycle and there could even be a 450-hp RS Q5. We are also expecting a plug-in hybrid version which will be sold with the “e-tron” moniker and could have a 30-mile electric range.

Unlike the outgoing Q5 which is assembled in Germany, the new model will be built in Mexico at Audi’s San José Chiapa factory. An official debut is scheduled for later this year, possibly in October at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Sales will begin before the year’s end.

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