Audi is in northern Europe to put the finishing touches on the third-generation Q5. The official reveal must be inching closer since prototypes are now carrying the full production body along with the final headlights and taillights. Our spies spotted a fleet of test vehicles depicting different trim levels judging by the varied dual exhaust design.
The initial impression is of a compact luxury crossover with design traits taken from the fully electric Q4 E-Tron. However, it's easy to spot the functional front grille necessary to cool down the combustion engine. Refreshingly, the grille seems smaller compared to the outgoing model's. Those vertical cutouts in the corners of the front bumper are likely there for the air curtains.
2024 Audi Q5 spied with production body and final lights
With the full disguise applied, the 2024 Q5's side profile looks similar to that of the Q4 E-Tron but we’re sure the devil is in the details. Once the camo will come off, there should be some notable differences to set the ICE and EV models apart. It should be noted the two models ride on completely different platforms, MLB Evo in the case of the Q5 and the electric-only MEB for the Q4 E-Tron.
At the rear, chances are there's an LED light bar hiding in plain sight, flanked by sleek headlights. Shared with the larger Q7, the clamshell layout of the tailgate is gone since we can clearly see the tailgate's outline bisects the taillights. It could mean the opening will be a tad narrower than before.
While these prototypes seem to be lesser versions or an S Line at the very best, an SQ5 is coming since our spies have already spotted test vehicles with a quad exhaust system. It remains to be seen whether Audi will give the BMW X3 rival the RS treatment for the first time. If it happens, expect a plug-in hybrid setup considering the next RS4 Avant will be a PHEV.
Previous spy shots have revealed an overhauled dashboard with a giant tablet-like screen sticking out from the dashboard. Unlike on the current Q5 where the digital instrument cluster is neatly integrated into the dash, its replacement will have a standalone display. Car paparazzi noticed a sizeable Quattro badge on the centre console, which had a handful of conventional controls. However, most of the functions will be accessed through the large touchscreen.
The last generation of the Q5 to be sold with ICE power is slated to receive a wide array of mild-hybrid combustion engines shared with the forthcoming A4/A5. Logic tells us that at least one plug-in hybrid version is planned, and hopefully, V6 engines will stick around for one more iteration.
Look for an official debut to take place later this year, possibly after the new A4/A5.