2023 Audi Q5 E-Tron Makes Spy Photo Debut, Already Has Production Body

Say hello to Audi’s version of the electric Porsche Macan.

Keeping up with the Volkswagen Group’s growing EV portfolio is turning into a full-time job. Audi hasn’t even revealed the MEB-based Q4 E-Tron and Q4 Sportback E-Tron in production guise and yet it’s already testing a completely different zero-emissions SUV. Our spies happened to be in the right place at the right time to capture the first batch of images with Audi’s equivalent of the next-generation Porsche Macan.

The prototype already appears to have all of the final body panels in place, although it’s missing the lower front grille while those basic taillights are only a provisional setup used during testing. You can easily tell this is an electric vehicle not just by the lack of any visible exhaust tips, but also due to the closed-off front grille since there’s no combustion engine that needs cooling.

Gallery: 2022 Audi Q5 E-Tron first spy photos

Although it’s fully dipped in camouflage, you can already tell the electric crossover looks significantly different than Audi’s current Q offerings of vehicles with combustion engines. The short overhangs indicate it’s being developed from the ground up as an EV as opposed to the bigger E-Tron, which is based on the MLB platform shared with the Q7 and Q8.

Regarding the name, logic tells us it will be baptized Q5 E-Tron since VAG already mentioned this name in a document published in November 2020. A screenshot from that PDF has been attached below, showing Audi is planning a 2022 market launch when the next-gen Macan is also due. Both will ride on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) reserved for upper midsize and larger EVs.

Little else is known about the Q5 E-Tron, but the German automotive conglomerate has already shared some preliminary details about the PPE platform. These will be slightly shorter than comparable MLB-based vehicles while offering more room inside thanks to a more generous wheelbase, clever battery packaging, and the absence of a central tunnel.

Audi has previously mentioned PPE will be more sophisticated than the MEB platform by offering air suspension, torque vectoring, and rear-wheel steering. Both single- and dual-electric motor setups are being developed, with the former coming in a rear-wheel-drive flavor while the more powerful configuration is going to have AWD. Fast-charging capabilities of 350 kW have been promised for the new platform Audi is developing with Porsche.

A new report from Auto Bild claims there will also be a Q6 E-Tron acting as a “coupe” version, but nothing is official at this point. We’re also not so sure that will be its official name as it could end up being called Q5 E-Tron Sportback, similar to the upcoming Q4 E-Tron & Q4 Sportback E-Tron pair unless it’ll have a significantly different design as seen with the Q7 & Q8 to warrant the higher number.

Meanwhile, the next-gen Porsche Macan will be the first PPE-based electric vehicle to be revealed. Audi’s equivalent is likely not far behind seeing as how both will go on sale next year.


CarPix, Auto Bild

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