It’s no secret that Audi is working on a complete overhaul for the popular Q5 crossover. It’s supposed to debut sometime next year and we’ve already seen several prototypes hinting at a new design language. There will be major changes under the skin as well and basically, every machine will be electrified. This may also include the powertrain in the highest-reaching RS Q5, which could be a plug-in type.
We have a new spy shot coming from our friends at motor.es, which we believe represents a prototype of a plug-in hybrid. It’s definitely the new Q5 – we can tell by the design of the front fascia – and there’s a charging port on the rear right fender of the vehicle. The prototype is completely camouflaged and it’s hard to see small details, even though our colleagues at motor.es believe this is indeed an RS branded machine.
Nothing can be confirmed at this time, but the photographer who took the photo in Southern Europe (attached above) informed us that the sporty crossover is being tested alongside two other Audi RS vehicles – the RS4 and RS7. You may wonder if this is actually the RS Q5 but our people also told us that the test vehicle had a very clear sound when accelerating, which is a strong hint that this is indeed a performance model.
But what will drive the new Q5 RS? motor.es speculated that power will be provided by an electrified version of the existing 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 unit. We expect, if true, the powertrain to focus on performance over efficiency and this could explain the fact that it will likely be equipped with a small battery that provides an electric range of only about 12 miles (20 kilometers). The electric motor, in turn, will aid in acceleration and will provide an instant boost when the pedal hits the floor.
Not much else is known at this point and we don’t have the power and performance available yet. However, motor.es reports the performance crossover is still in its earliest stages of development and won’t be ready for market launch before the second half of 2024. We expect to learn more about it in the coming months, so stay tuned.