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Motoring News

AUDI Q5 35 TDI LIMITED EDITION

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AUDI Q5 35 TDI LIMITED EDITION

By CHRIS RILEY

 Q5 . . . long on economy, short on grunt.

 The diesel Audi Q5 35 Limited Edition diesel is billed as the most fuel-efficient, diesel SUV on the Australian market, with a theoretical range of more than 1400km. It also happens to be the cheapest model in the Q5 mid-sized SUV lineup, priced from $68,000 before on-road costs.

Sounds too good to be true, but a closer inspection reveals the 2.0-litre diesel has actually been detuned and, get this — it’s two-wheel drive. No Quattro here.

You can look at it as a cynical marketing exercise or maybe a more practical approach to the SUV phenomena, given who is buying these vehicles and what they are using them for?

Reducing power and equipment levels is a sure sign of price cutting as premium brands strive to woo customers lured by ‘lesser’ brands whose top end models are giving them stick.

STYLING

Apart from a nip here and a tuck there, Q5 does not look remarkably different from the first model launched here in 2009.

I remember that launch in the Snowy Mountains. It was a PR nightmare because the power steering failed on two vehicles within minutes of each other after a section of off-roading. Never did find out what went wrong, which is not uncommon.

Other than that, the cars performed impeccably and so too did the car we have just finished testing.

Three models are offered. Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition is priced from $$68,350.Q5 40 TDI Sport Limited Edition is priced from $77,600 and the petrol Q5 45 TFSI Sport Limited Edition from $79,400.

Our test vehicle was standard apart from metallic paint which adds $1531, bringing the price as tested to $69,881 plus on-roads.

Standard kit includes 20-inch alloys, LED headlights, daytime driving lights and tail lights (includes cornering lights and all-weather lights), and an electric tailgate with handsfree opening (gesture control).

Inside there’s leather-appointed upholstery, three-zone climate air, electric front seats with heating and four-way lumbar support for driver and passenger, leather steering wheel with multifunction plus, shift paddles and hands-on detection, auto-dimming mirror and ambient colour interior lighting.

Q5 is covered by a 5-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. Service intervals are 12 months or 15,000km. A pre-paid five-year service plan costs $3140.

INFOTAINMENT

A standalone 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system offers MMI navigation plus, eight-speaker sound, DAB+ digital radio, wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, plus two USB outlets in front with charging and connectivity functions and another two USB outlets in rear with charging functions.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS

The 2.0-litre turbo diesel develops 120kW of power and 370Nm of torque, the latter between 1500 and 3000 rpm.

It’s actually a 12-volt mild hybrid setup with auto engine stop-start and power to the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

SAFETY

Five-star safety comprises eight airbags, pop-up bonnet and pre-sense city with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) including pedestrian detection (detects impending collisions at up to 85 km/h and can reduce speed by up to 40km/h).

There’s also pre-sense rear and pre-sense basic, active lane assist, blind-spot warning, exit warning, rear cross traffic assist and auto high beam.

It also comes with front and rear park sensors and a rear-view camera.

What you don’t get is adaptive cruise control which is part of the optional Assistance pack.

In fact, six safety items are optional extras, including collision avoidance assist and a 360-degree camera.

Some people take a dim view of charging extra for safety.

DRIVING

Fuel consumption is rated at a measly 4.8L/100km and it’s pretty clean for a diesel, producing 125g/km of CO2 (thanks to twin catalytic converters and a ‘twin-dosing’ AdBlue system).

Add to this a largish 70-litre fuel tank and you’ve got a theoretical range of more than 1400km.

We were getting 5.9L/100km after more than 400km, with 700km to go – excellent fuel economy but not quite what we were promised.

To put this in perspective, a 5-year-old Kia Sportage puts out more power and torque than this, with 135kW and 392Nm. The current version puts out even more. Costs less too.

Perhaps it’s one of the reasons this model is not offered in Sportback form. It’s just not sporty enough?

In fact, it’s the first time a Q5 of any flavour has been offered in Australia without all-wheel drive.

Performance is fine but is not going to set the world on fire, with the dash from 0 to 100 km/h taking 9.0 seconds.

Drive select offers five modes: Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. The drive experience is smooth, quiet and mainly leisurely.

Inside it’s all a bit doom and gloom with an over-abundance of black and featureless surfaces broken only by some strips of metal looking plastic. The one relief comes a strip of ambient blue lighting that splits the dash from side to side.

Despite power adjustment, fore, aft and angle, the seats dig into the back of our thighs and are not comfortable.

Rear seat passengers get air outlets, but legroom is limited.

The boot offers reasonable storage, with a collapsible space saver spare concealed under the floor.

You need to inflate it with an onboard 12-volt compressor which you’ll find stored in a hidey hole to one side of the luggage area.

Sounds like a lot of mucking around and will probably result in an endless stream of calls to roadside assistance.

A big, bright 10.1-inch responsive touchscreen commands the infotainment system from the top of the dash.

The instrument cluster is not digital and lacks the pyrotechnics of more recent models, with two standard analogue style dials that flank a centre information screen where speed and navigation can be displayed.

The Q5 35 TDI is in its element cruising effortlessly in the slow lane.

If you demand more from the car, you will have to start making specific requests to the transmission. Either by putting Drive Select in Dynamic mode, or changing gears manually using the paddle shifts provided.

Drive select is on the far side of the centre stack and is a stretch as the seat belt cinches tight.

Dynamic mode as you might expect locks out 7th gear, keeping engine revs higher than normal, making the car more responsive to the throttle.

Plonk it off the line or after it has been cruising for a while and the transmission takes a second or two to work out what you want before the power kicks in.It could also result in some scrabble from the front tyres as they search for traction.

From there on the transmission understands and responds accordingly, but constant braking and acceleration can and will confuse it — it is after all a dual clutch setup.

Q5 corners flat and the ride from the 20-inch rubber is surprisingly good.

Corner to corner in manual mode works best in fourth gear where the engine revs hover around the 4000-rpm mark. Tight corners may require a change down to third. But of course, if leaving it in Dynamic mode or a lower gear will inevitably drive up fuel consumption.

 SUMMING UP

While the Q5’s fuel efficiency is to be applauded, we’re left wondering if that is a major

drawcard for the average Audi buyer?

Perhaps it’s of no real interest at all? Your average Audi driver is looking for style and performance and can often be seen cutting through traffic — at least where I come from, anyhow!

RATINGS:

Looks: 7

Performance: 7

Safety: 7.5

Thirst: 8

Practicality: 7.5

Comfort: 7.5

Tech: 7.5

Value: 7

Overall: 7.4

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE

Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition (120kW), $68,350

Q5 40 TDI Sport Limited Edition (140kW), $77,600

Q5 45 TFSI Sport Limited Edition (185kW), $79,400

Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact Audi for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition, 2.0L Turbo 4-cylinder diesel, 7sp DCT, FWD five-seat SUV

PERFORMANCE:

Capacity: 2.0 litres

Configuration: 4-cylinder diesel, turbocharged with 12V mild hybrid

Maximum Power: 120 kW @3250-4200 rpm

Maximum Torque: 370 Nm @ 1500-3000 rpm

Fuel Type: Diesel

Fuel consumption: 4.8 L/100km

CO2 Emissions: 125g/km

DRIVELINE:

7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, front-wheel drive

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:

Length: 4682 mm

Wheelbase: 2819 mm

Width: 1893 mm

Height: 1662 mm

Turning Circle: 11.7 metres

Kerb Mass: 1815 mm

Fuel Tank Capacity: 70 litres

BRAKES:

Front: Ventilated disc

Rear:  Ventilated disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:

Five years / unlimited kilometres

 

 

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2024 Lotus Emeya Debuts with 675kW

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2024 Lotus Emeya

2024 Lotus Emeya Debuts with 675kW

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Lotus has introduced the all-new 2024 Lotus Emeya, a four-door electric ‘coupe’ poised to challenge high-end Porsche Taycan EVs and stake a claim in the burgeoning hyper-GT segment. Boasting an impressive powertrain and striking design, the Emeya is set to redefine electric luxury performance.

The flagship 2024 Lotus Emeya features a dual-motor powertrain delivering an astonishing 675kW and 985Nm of torque. This setup enables the Emeya to accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 2.8 seconds, rivaling the performance of the Porsche Taycan Turbo S. It achieves a top speed of 256km/h, facilitated by a sophisticated two-speed transmission.

Powered by a 102kWh lithium-ion battery, the Emeya supports ultra-fast DC charging up to 350kW, allowing the battery to recharge from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes. While Lotus has not yet disclosed the exact range, the fast-charging capability ensures minimal downtime.

The Emeya’s exterior combines bold lines and sharp angles, drawing inspiration from designs by Lamborghini and Fisker. It features a wedge-shaped silhouette, slimline exterior lighting, and a striking yellow and black colour scheme. Aerodynamic efficiency is enhanced by an active front grille, air-dam combination, and an active rear spoiler capable of generating over 215kg of downforce, supported by an active diffuser.

Inside, the Emeya continues its aggressive styling with deeply sculpted bucket seats, chunky door trims, a multi-layered dashboard, and a thick steering wheel. The minimalist digital instrument cluster is complemented by a massive 55-inch augmented reality head-up display (AR HUD) that projects crucial driving information onto the windshield.

During spirited driving, the AR HUD can be switched off in favor of a slim display on the dash, showing essential information only. The interior also features adaptive air suspension as standard and a ‘race-grade’ braking system, ensuring the vehicle can stop almost as quickly as it accelerates.

Lotus has incorporated sustainably sourced and recycled materials throughout the Emeya. The cabin includes repurposed fibres from the fashion industry, PVD aluminium, Alcantara, Nappa leather, and Ultrafabrics PU, reflecting a commitment to eco-friendly luxury.

Ben Payne, Vice President of Design at Lotus Group, commented on the Emeya’s debut: “This is a Lotus like you have never seen before. We’ve built on everything Lotus has achieved so far to create a luxury performance car for the drivers, designed to inspire confidence, exhilarate with raw emotion and pure joy – connecting them to the road.”

While customer deliveries have already begun in China, more details about the Emeya lineup, market availability, and pricing will be revealed in the next quarter. The launch in right-hand drive markets, including Australia, is expected in the second half of this year.

The 2024 Lotus Emeya marks a significant leap forward for Lotus, combining blistering performance, cutting-edge technology, and sustainable luxury. As it prepares to enter the market, the Emeya is set to challenge established players like the Porsche Taycan, offering a compelling new option for enthusiasts of high-performance electric vehicles.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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Finally, the Toyota 86 We’ve Always Wanted

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2025 Toyota GR86

Finally, the Toyota 86 We’ve Always Wanted

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Toyota could be preparing a radical new version of its GR86 sports car, according to a report from the popular Japanese magazine Best Car, which is known for its well-placed sources in the Japanese auto industry. The new GR86 is expected to debut next year with significant updates that will bring it into direct competition with the Mazda MX-5.

Key Highlights:

  • Potent Powertrain: The new GR86 will reportedly feature the 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine from the Yaris GR, paired with Toyota’s hybrid technology. This hybrid setup is claimed to produce more than 220kW.
  • Design Overhaul: The GR86 is expected to grow in size to accommodate the new engine and electric motor. Best Car’s digital render showcases a drastically redesigned front end with a three-tier lighting structure and a prominent bar running the length of the bonnet. The rear end features LED lighting running the length of the back, a prominent rear spoiler, and dual exhausts.
  • Upcoming Sports Car Revolution: Rumours suggest a new sports car revolution in Japan, with Toyota potentially preparing a new Celica and a micro S-FR. The new Toyota Celica is expected to debut at next year’s Tokyo Auto Salon in January. The mini S-FR sports car, believed to be developed in partnership with Daihatsu and Suzuki, will spawn new versions of the Daihatsu Copen and Suzuki Cappuccino.

Toyota GR President Tomoya Takahashi emphasised the importance of collaboration between companies for the future of sports cars. “The sports car market is shrinking. We cannot maintain sports cars as one brand, Toyota,” said Takahashi. “Collaboration between brands will increase in the future. We don’t know with whom we’re going to collaborate.”

The 2025 Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ are set to redefine the sports car segment with their potent hybrid powertrains and innovative designs. As the market gears up for a new wave of high-performance vehicles, Toyota’s strategic collaborations and cutting-edge technology ensure that enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to.

 

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2024 Lotus Emeya Sets EV Recharge Record

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2024 Lotus Emeya

2024 Lotus Emeya Sets EV Recharge Record

 

By Jeff Gibbs

The all-new 2024 Lotus Emeya, an upcoming electric super-sedan, has set a new benchmark in DC fast-charging technology. With its advanced 402kW peak charging speed, the Emeya can recharge its 102kWh battery from 10% to 80% in just 14 minutes.

Key Highlights:

  • Record-Setting Recharge Speed: The Emeya achieves a 10-80% top-up in just 14 minutes using a 400kW DC charger, maintaining an average charge speed of 331kW.
  • Rapid Range Addition: This translates to approximately 310km of added range in just 10 minutes.
  • Advanced Battery Technology: The Emeya’s cell-to-back battery structure incorporates a cutting-edge cooling system that significantly enhances thermal performance, surpassing many competitors.

Performance and Competition

The Lotus Emeya was tested against several high-profile electric vehicles, including the Mercedes-Benz EQS, BMW i7, Tesla Model Y, Genesis G80, XPeng G9, Hyundai IONIQ 6, Nio ET5, and BYD Atto 3. This testing highlights the Emeya’s superior charging capabilities, narrowing the gap between the time required to recharge an electric vehicle and refuel a conventional combustion-engine vehicle. However, it’s worth noting that recharging the Emeya for a 310km range still takes five times longer than refueling a combustion engine car like the Porsche Panamera, which takes about two minutes.

Among its competitors, the XPeng G9 was the closest, achieving a peak charge rate of 320kW but averaging around 233kW as it approached 80% capacity.

2024 Lotus Emeya Interior

2024 Lotus Emeya Interior

Power and Speed

Designed to compete with the fastest electric vehicles on the market, particularly the Porsche Taycan, the flagship Lotus Emeya boasts impressive performance specs:

  • Acceleration: 0-100km/h in a claimed 2.8 seconds, matching the Porsche Taycan Turbo S.
  • Top Speed: 256km/h.
  • Powertrain: Dual-motor setup delivering 675kW and 985Nm.
  • Transmission: Two-speed system for optimised performance.

Official Statements

Lotus Group CEO Qingfeng Feng emphasised the breakthrough in charging technology, stating, “With our industry-leading charging technology available today, Emeya pushes the boundaries for how an EV performs, providing drivers with the confidence to travel anywhere. We’re bringing an unrivalled driving experience in the ultimate grand tourer package, so drivers want to go electric.”

Launch and Availability

Customer deliveries have already begun in China, with the Lotus Emeya set to launch in right-hand drive markets, including Australia, in the second half of this year.

The 2024 Lotus Emeya not only sets a new standard for fast-charging electric vehicles but also promises exceptional performance and driving experience, making it a strong contender in the luxury EV market.

 

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