Audi knocked nearly 200 pounds off some versions of its popular Q5 by using higher-strength steels and some aluminum, the company announced Thursday.
The second-generation Q5, which goes on sale internationally at the beginning of 2017, “has grown in nearly all of its dimensions” but managed to come in lighter, according to Audi. Depending on the engine, it can weigh up to 198.4 pounds less than its predecessor thanks to factors like the OEM’s metal picks.
“Steels with maximum tensile strength and aluminum form an intelligent material mix in the body,” Audi wrote in a news release.
The new Q5 didn’t lose nearly as much weight as its colleague the Q7, announced last year to have lost more than 700 pounds. The difference appears to be the Q7’s liberal use of aluminum, particularly on the body panels.
The Q5’s exterior sports an aluminum hood and tailgate; the rest is cold-formed steel. The Q7’s closures and panels, in contrast, are virtually all aluminum. Of course, the Q5 starts at $40,900, while the Q7 starts at nearly $10,000 more.
Ultra-high-strength components can be found in the kind of places you’d expect for energy management and passenger cage protection on the Q5: roof and floor rails and the A- and B-pillars. These include large tailor-rolled blanks reaching strengths of 1,500 megapascals, probably to control deformation and prevent intrusion along the lines of what Honda demonstrated with the 2016 Civic’s steel’s soft zones.
Audi Q5 vs. Q7
Audi has sold 31,238 Q5s and 12,525 of the new Q7s as of the end of August. The Q5 is Audi’s top seller in the U.S., at 52,006 last year, and globally, it’s the top selling SUV in its crossover class, Audi boasts.