It's been in showrooms for a few months in V-6 form, and the 2009 Audi Q5 is already being prepped for a green makeover.
For now, the powertrain in the Q5 will continue to be the 270-horsepower, 3.2-liter V-6 installed in every U.S.-bound vehicle. In 2011, Audi plans to fit a hybrid gas-electric powertrain in the compact SUV, though the powertrain hasn't yet been identified. And since the Q5 is related to Audi's A4 range, it's not difficult to see the same powertrain make its way into various sedans, wagons, perhaps even the A5 Coupe and Cabriolet.
The hybrid versions will precede any diesel Q5 to market, Audi has said.
Meanwhile, the larger Q7 sport-utility will be refined next model year. The 2010 Audi Q7 will get a facelift, and it will see the new MMI system fitted in the Q5--the more compact controller guides users through simpler screens, and Audi's added more user-friendly voice controls for navigation functions ("I need cash"). The Q7's cabin will add more wood trim on the passenger side as well. No other major changes have been confirmed, but powertrains and suspensions will remain the same, an Audi spokesman told TheCarConnection.
Stay tuned: later we'll have our Bottom Line on the 2009 Audi Q5, and a comparison between four compact luxury SUVs: the Q5, the Mercedes-Benz GLK, the Land Rover LR2 and the BMW X3.