Mexico meets Germany

New spy footage coming from the Nürburgring shows an Audi test driver pushing hard a prototype of the 2017 Q5.

Spied during final testing, Audi’s second-generation Q5 appears to play it safe in terms of the design as the styling won’t be a major departure compared to the outgoing model. A prominent singleframe grille in the same vein as the one featured on the latest Q7 will occupy most of the front fascia and it appears this prototype has full LED headlights. We expect the new Q5 to come as standard with xenon headlights and optional LEDs, as seen on the new A4. At the back, those slightly curved taillights will likely come with standard light-emitting diodes and as you can see the shape of the clusters differs compared to the bigger Q7.

Since we mentioned the A4, the MLB Evo platform used on the premium sedan/wagon will serve as foundation for the new Q5 as well. This should shave off as much as 220 pounds (100 kilograms) and it seems the new Q5 will be a bit smaller than the outgoing model, but we could be wrong as the camouflage could be deceiving.

There’s no point in talking about the engine lineup as it will closely mirror what the Audi A4 provides. It remains to be seen whether the hotter SQ5 gasoline and diesel models will be available from day one. We are more interested to find out if that rumor concerning a 450-hp RS Q5 is true. Even if it is not, this range-topping variant definitely won’t go on sale right away as Audi will wait at least a year after the regular model’s launch.

Speaking of which, Audi is set to unveil the all-new Q5 in the second half of the year, and we will probably check it out in all its evolutionary design glory in October at the Paris Motor Show. It should go on sale shortly thereafter, and production will be switched from Ingolstadt, Germany to San José Chiapa, Mexico.

Gallery: 2017 Mexico-built Audi Q5 spied in motion at the ‘Ring [video]