Some high tech efficiency upgrades that may surprise you.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- July 15, 2008
The Audi Q5’s best side… Just a tease but read on.
Audi Q5, a Sports car like small SUV that combines decent performance with reasonably low fuel consumption. From energy recuperation to engine downsizing, Audi is attempting to take fuel costs to heart albeit it in an SUV/Sports car sort of way.
The new Q5 arrives with three small, powerful and state of the art engines -- the FSI gasoline and (2) diesel TDI’s that are direct-injected and turbo equipped.
The new 2.0 TFSI is an object lesson in efficiency. This four-cylinder engine develops 211 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque yet its fuel consumption averages 27.7 mpgUS combined on the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) tests.
The 2.0L FSI still uses Audi’s valvelift system (AVS) which regulates the valve lift in two distinct stages. One boosts torque while the other improves fuel efficiency by as much as five percent.
The TDI – the most successful efficiency technology in the world
The (2) TDI engines available in the new Q5 fit follow Audi's downsizing strategy. The four-cylinder 2.0L TDI develops 170 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque while achieving 35.1 mpgUS combined. The larger six-cylinder 3.0L TDI, a V6 achieves 240 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque. Its average fuel consumption is rated at a respectable 31.36 mpgUS.
The high torque values at low revs of the TDI’s have allowed higher transmission ratios without undermining drivability. Peak torque is achieved at a very early point on all engines in the Audi Q5 – the 2.0 TFSI reaches peak at just 1,500 rpm, barely above idle speed.
Finding fuel efficiency in other places
Audi uses a number of new technologies referred to as the "modular efficiency platform".
Instead of moving towards to the latest rave, that being an all-electric power steering system, a new vane pump in the hydraulic unit delivers only as much oil and boost as is necessary at any given operating point.
The automatic air conditioning's cooling systems oil pump is regulated by the volumetric flow and therefore always operates on demand.
Systematic fine-tuning of all metal to metal contact points within the engines themselves has reduced the internal friction of all engines.
Engine coolant temperature management is another new technology. Part of the coolant loop is isolated during the warm-up phase, helping the engine reach its operating temperature faster which boosts efficiency.
The Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI, which comes with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, features a shift indicator that recommends the most economical gear to the driver.
The new, refined navigation system promotes efficient driving by calculating the most fuel-efficient route.
Micro mild hybridization at work
All versions of the Q5 recover energy while coasting during braking and freewheeling. While still in motion but coasting down, the alternator is able to convert some of the excess kinetic energy normally lost in braking action into electrical energy that is stored in the battery. The battery releases the energy through the alternator when accelerating, reducing the engine's workload.
DSG or the dual clutch transmission for the masses
Audi fits the new Q5 with the seven-speed S-tronic state-of-the-art dual-clutch transmission. With its lightning-fast, ultra-convenient broad spread of ratios from the lowest to the highest gear, the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is the most efficient transmission technology available anywhere.
Low rolling resistance tires without compromise
The Audi Q5 also redefines the benchmark for handling. The new reduced rolling resistance are virtually indistinguishable from conventional tires when it comes to lateral stability and stopping distance, but significantly reduce rolling resistance and therefore fuel consumption.
The basic version of the new Audi Q5 achieves a drag coefficient of 0.33 – the best in its field of competitors. This is due not only to its basic aerodynamic form but also to technical features such as the underbody panel. The frontal area measures just 28.52 ft2 owing to the relatively low body; this, too, promotes a favorable airflow around the car. Although scarcely noticeable in the fuel consumption figures on the test rig, it has an effect when driving down the freeway.
And the tease…
The engines and many of the fuel efficiency design improvements discussed are only for the European’s. Here in the US, we will be receiving a 265 HP - 3.2L FSI which may have a 0 to 60 time of under 8 seconds but a fuel economy rating more along the lines of everything else in its class. That being approximately 20 mpg combined
Let us all hope the new 3.0 TDI equipped Q5 will make it into US showrooms soon after the 3.2L FSI becomes available which is currently scheduled for the spring of 2009.