Audi Q5 Sportback 45 SUV: A Close Look

Real-world driving reveals a pleasant surprise.


The Q5 looks similar to other models in the Audi line. But there is a lot of excellent German engineering under this nice-looking shape, making it one of the better SUVs on the market.

Text and photos by Chad Haire


The base motor is a 2.0 liter putting out 201 horsepower. It’s found on the entry-level model 40. This model 45 has a more potent 2.0 turbo cranking 261 horsepower. It is hooked to a slick 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Fuel economy is listed at 23/28 mpg, with an average of 25. A Premium blend is required. Those who want more can order a 3.0 V-6 with 349 hp, or a 2.0 liter hybrid at 362 ponies. But wanting more costs more, a lot.


While the Q5 with smaller engine output starts for less coin, the 45 version has a base fee of $48K. This includes a lot of standard equipment, but there will always be options to dig into your wallet. The Bang & Olufsen stereo is certainly worth an extra $950. The sport package may be worth the tab if you are a brisk driver. In the end, $56,540 was the amount presented. Ordering the more powerful motors will reach sky-high, but it’s only money!


That $1,400 sport package issues these large 21-inch wheels, as well as a suspension adjusted for spirited driving.


That 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox is a gem, shifting properly in any situation. But for those who want to choose gears manually, these paddles work just fine. Plus they are mounted on the steering wheel where they can be reached at all times, unlike a few car makers who put on the steering column where they can only be reached while driving in a straight line. This Audi setup is better.


The gauge cluster is well designed and provides lots of useful information.


The info screen has excellent clarity and gives a sharp picture of the rear view when placed in reverse gear.


If you pay that extra $950 for the Bang & Olufsen 3-D system, it is a wise choice. It sounds great.


The climate controls are very easy to operate.


The Q5 45 is a pleasure to drive on the street. The fuel economy on the freeway was 28/30 mpg. The acceleration provided by that little turbo motor is brisk enough. Despite those heavy 21-inch wheels, the ride is very comfortable. With the smaller 19-inch standard wheels, the comfort will be even smoother. A lot of great engineering went into the suspension design, and it pays off.


With good ground clearance and all-wheel drive, the Q5 can be taken off the pavement. This applies to light-duty chores on mild dirt trails. There are no low-range gears for serious trails, but this vehicle was not intended for that, so not needed.


There are no active headlights here, but the overall performance in the dark is still excellent. That front Audi grille is a tradition. Love it or hate it, everyone will know what brand you are driving!

5 Reasons to Own a 2022 Audi S3

The 2022 Audi S3 compact sedan combines the best of what the German manufacturer has to offer, in a tiny package.

Little Audi

The AudiWorld content team recently had a chance to drive the 2022 Audi S3 for a few days. The sportier version of Audi’s little sedan is an impressive, versatile machine. The compact package offers city car practicality. But the unassuming Audi’s friendly side is contrasted by the S3’s performance-oriented nature, when the Sport driving mode is selected. If you’re in the market for a new car, here are five reasons to consider the Audi S3.

1. Audi-Level Luxury

The Audi A3 plays the role of an entry-level product in the German luxury brand’s lineup. With the S3, Audi has given the platform a more premium feel. What’s great about these compact luxury sedans is the fact that much of the high-end Audi tech and modern creature comforts have been carried down to the S3 model. Plus, in terms of quality, the S3 isn’t too far from the company’s flagship of luxury, the S8.

2. S Performance

This car is genuinely fast! That’s one area that we were very pleasantly surprised about with the S3. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine is rated at 306 horsepower. It provides a great amount of torque in the lower rev range. And the transmission shifts up and down very quickly. Various reliable sources have recorded 0-60 acceleration times as low as 4.4 seconds with the S3!

The adaptive suspension does well to keep the light-weight sedan planted around the corners, making the Audi the perfect vehicle to take through back roads on the way back home from work!

3. Compact Package

It had been a while since this writer had a small car to drive around town. And there’s no doubt, the compact package comes in handy quite often, when parking space is difficult to find. That’s especially true when your objective is to stay as far away from other people’s doors and bumpers as possible. This is useful because it’s hard to trust most folks’ ability to keep away from your car’s paint these days…

Driving a smaller car is also generally easier. The S3 is far more maneuverable than the majority of the cars on the road.

4. Interior Design

Audi’s newest interior design philosophy mirrors that of its exterior styling in many ways. It features strong character graphics and a techy aesthetic. The interactive features within the cabin have also been simplified in the best way possible. The controls are now efficiently located and beautifully styled. The S3, in particular, has a bit more of a driver-oriented personality inside the cabin, as well, which further establishes the car’s motto of being a bundle of luxury and fun.

5. Driving Assists

The combination of the adaptive cruise control and the lane departure/steering assists add up to a similar self-driving functionality as Tesla’s. When both of the aforementioned assists are engaged, driving on the freeway, especially in traffic becomes a lot less annoying. As long as there are clear lines on the road, your Audi S3 can practically drive itself. All it needs is for the driver to touch the steering wheel every so often so it knows someone is alert behind the wheel. If left unattended for too long, the car will slowly come to a full stop. 

It does need to be said, though, that Audi’s driving assists are not quite as sophisticated as Tesla’s, which many consider to be the industry benchmark at the moment. The Audi system seems to have trouble finding the lines a bit more often than we’d like. And it doesn’t do too well recognizing cars in adjacent lanes, even when they are in the process of merging ahead. Still, amazingly useful to help keep one’s sanity in LA traffic!


The most prominent shortcoming we experienced when driving the S3 was the infotainment system. The car’s own system was just a bit too laggy for a 2022 product. And although the navigation interface was great, the functionality was rather slow, and the arrival estimates were not very accurate. 

Being of the rare breed of exclusive Android users, this editor had an even less pleasant time with the Android Auto application, which takes entirely too long to activate after connecting to the car’s Bluetooth. 

Some would also argue that the suspension is too stiff for a luxury vehicle, even in comfort mode. In our experience, though it’s true that the S3 doesn’t have quite as airy of a ride as many of Audi’s larger cars, the dampers and shocks do a very nice job of keeping the bumps and road imperfections out of the cabin. This gives the car an adequately comfortable ride feel.

>>Join the conversation about the 2022 Audi S3 right here in the Audi World Forum!

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Audi’s Greatest Quattro Vehicles

40 Years of Quattro All-Weather Performance
Audi’s top performance cars have included their Quattro all-wheel-drive – here are eight of the best.

Audi Quattro

Let’s start at the beginning. The original Audi Quattro launched in 1981, setting off a bomb in the world of rally racing. Overnight it was clear the future belonged to all-wheel drive. The Audi Quattro won its first race and was a dominant force throughout the 1980s. On the road, the Quattro’s all-wheel-drive added a new dimension to driving. It was quick, its inline-five turbo helped to accelerate to 60 mph in seven seconds and top 138 mph. But nothing could match the Quattro’s grip or ability to power through corners. And it was fast no matter what road conditions it faced.

Photo:  Audi 

Audi 200 Turbo Quattro

By the mid-1980s, BMW and Mercedes-Benz were turning mid-sized sedans into factory hot rods. BMW launched the M535i and M5 while Mercedes brought the AMG Hammer down on its competition. Not to be outdone, Audi took its lightweight, aluminum-bodied 200, added the turbocharged 2.2-liter inline five-cylinder and Quattro all-wheel-drive. If anything, the 200 Quattro’s performance was better than the original. With a 6.5 second, 0-60 mph time and a top speed exceeding 150 mph, it was more than a match for the M5 in any weather condition. 

Photo: Audi 

Audi RS2 / RS2 Avant

Something must have gotten into Audi’s strudel after they produced the 200 Quattro Turbo. They decided to bump the power of the 2.2-liter turbo five-cylinder to an astonishing 311 horsepower. Then they dropped that engine into the small Audi 80 sedan and wagon and added all-wheel-drive. The result was another Quattro – the RS2/RS2 Avant. The wagon became one of the fastest grocery-getters ever. In a contemporary test, Autocar found that the RS2 Avant could out run the McLaren F1 and a Formula One car to 30 mph on its way to a top speed of 163 mph.  

Photo: Audi 

Audi S4/RS4 Avant

After the RS2 Avant, Audi didn’t produce a true autobahn-stormer for 12 years, choosing to focus on luxury over performance. That changed in the mid-2000s when they launched the RS4. Instead of stuffing a turbo-inline 5 into the A4, they went with the 4.2-liter V8 from the A8. The result put BMW’s M3 on notice with a 4.8 second 0-60 time and a stratospheric redline of 8,250 rpm. And unlike the M3, the S4 and RS4 Avant could use that power everywhere at any time thanks to the Quattro all-wheel-drive. 

Photo: Audi 

Audi RS6 5.0 TFSI Avant

If Lamborghini made a wagon, it would be the RS6 TFSI Avant. With the Italian boutique carmaker under the VW Auto Group, Audi was able to source the V10 used in the Gallardo for the R8 supercar and the RS6 Avant. Another shot across BMW’s bow, this time aimed squarely at the V10 powered E50 M5. Possessing a top speed of 180 mph, the RS6 quickly became one of the great Quattros. It could run down the M5 anywhere in Europe, especially in wet or snowy weather. The only place it couldn’t catch the BMW was the U.S. Unfortunately we never got this car.  

Photo: Audi 

Audi R18 e-tron Quattro

They say racing improves the breed, but in Audi’s case, the Quattro improved their racing program. Taking nine Le Mans victories to start this century, Audi took their game to a new level with the R18 e-tron Quattro in 2012. The product of new FIA rules, Audi borrowed a page from Formula One and installed a KERS type system to power the front wheels. It also featured some other impressive equipment, like laser headlights and high pressure, direct fuel injection. Out of the gate, the R18 won Le Mans in its first outing and continued winning well into the 2016 season. 

Photo: Audi 

Audi TT RS

Audi resurrected the turbocharged five-cylinder for 2009, dropping it into the TT RS. It was an ideal match, the growl of the 335 hp five-cylinder added some ferocity to the TT’s quick, terrier-like nature. It was perhaps the first modern Audi that harkened directly back to the original Quattro. The lightweight TT RS hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and tackled any road or weather condition with power and finesse. 

Photo: Audi 

Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI V10

More than just a Lamborghini Gallardo with Audi’s four-ring logo on its nose, the R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI V10 is the ultimate expression of a Quattro exotic car. The R8 Spyder, coupled with the V10 and all-wheel-drive, offers supercar performance with a smooth, comfortable ride and light, precise handling. Boasting the same 3.7 second 0-60 mph time and 195 mph top speed as the R8 coupe, it adds the carefree wind-in-your-hair experience of top-down driving. The end result is so good, Car and Driver’s staff were ready to sell their kidneys for one. 

>>Join the conversation about these Audi Quattro models right here in the Audi World Forum!

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Top 10 Audi Concept Cars of All Time

More than just design exercises, these concepts showcased the future of Audi.

Audi 100S Coupe Speciale

Let’s start with the oldest concept, the 100S Coupe Speciale. Back in the 1970s wedge shape cars were all the rage. The Lancia Stratos and Lotus Esprit led the movement with other automakers following. Not to be outdone, Audi developed the Speciale. The coachwork was done by Pietro Frua, who designed several cars for Maserati. Built on top of the Audi 100 platform, with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, it was more show than go. But the design helped inspire the Quattro of the 1980s which was never lacking in the power department. 

Photo: Goodwood

Audi Avus

The Audi Avus debuted in 1991 looking like a supercar teleported back in time from the 21st century. In a way, that’s exactly what it was. The Avus led to a series of Volkswagen W12 concepts, which in turn led to the Bugatti Veyron. You can also see elements of the Bauhaus design prevalent in Audis of the early 2000s. And the body showcased Audi’s aluminum expertise, something that they would leverage in the coming years. 

Photo: Audi 

Audi Quattro Spyder

Debuting at the same time as the Avus, the 1991 Quattro Spyder concept looked more like something from Maranello than Ingolstadt. The mid-engine car was powered by Audi’s 2.8 liter V6, which provided Ferrari-like performance in the aluminum-bodied coupe. Audi called it the Spyder because of its removable glass top which was slightly confusing. More confusing is why the Spyder didn’t make it to production. It garnered a lot of attention and had people clamoring to place orders for it.  

Photo: Audi 

Audi Rosemeyer

The 2000 Audi Rosemeyer paid tribute to the Auto Union race cars of the 1930s. Named after Bernd Rosemeyer, an Auto Union driver from that era, it looks like a mashup of 1930s Art Deco and retro-futuristic Steampunk. Like the Avus before it, the Rosemeyer was a mule for the Bugatti Veyron. It even carried a test version of the 8.0-liter W16 engine.   

Photo: Audi 

Audi Nuvolari

In 2003 Audi created another concept named after a prewar race car driver. Italian Tazio Nuvolari raced for Auto Union before World War II and was one of the best drivers of that era. The Nuvolari was a big coupe that showcased Audi’s post-Bauhaus design themes, offering a preview of the A5. But unlike the A5 or S5, it featured a Lamborghini V10 powerplant. If the previous A8 coupe had no chance at production, the V10 Nuvolari chances were less than zero. But a big V10 powered grand touring coupe from Audi would have been epic.   

Photo: Audi 

Audi Steppenwolf

The Audi Steppenwolf may not be a magic carpet ride, but it was a very real concept. Based on the Audi A3 and powered by the 3.2-liter V6, the vehicle was a study for the compact crossover SUV segment. It featured several novel features, including a four-level adjustable air suspension from the Audi Allroad Quattro, a removable hardtop or optional soft-top, and an electric-hydraulic parking brake. Born to be wild, the Steppenwolf would have made a cool alternative to the Honda CR-V or BMW X3.  

Photo: Audi 

Audi Quattro

The original Audi Quattro set the rally world on fire, transforming the WRC into what it is today. 30 years later, Audi showcased this 2010 Quattro concept. Powered by a five-cylinder turbo on a shortened A5 platform, it combined the ideal mix of retro and modern styling. Like the original Quattro, it set the world on fire, and buyers lined up to plunk down deposits. Audi even considered producing a limited run of the new Quattro, but for some reason, they never did. Of all of the Audi concept cars, this is one deserved to be produced. 

Photo: Audi 

Audi Nanuk Quattro

Audi is showed the Audi Nanuk Quattro concept show car at the IAA in Frankfurt am Main. It was a crossover concept that combined the dynamics of a high-performance sports car with a crossover. Using Audi’s Quattro it was meant to be the ultimate vehicle on the road, race track, or off-road. Powered by Audi’s V10 TDI it would have been a cross between a Lamborghini and an Audi Quattro. 

Photo: Audi 

Audi Prologue Avant

Another Audi concept that should have gone into production is the Prologue. Originally shown as a coupe, Audi also penned this Avant version. Both concepts were all powered by a 4.0-liter TFSI V8 with around 605 hp and featured technology that made its way into the current A8. But given Audi’s fondness for the Avant, as well as its devoted following of enthusiasts, it seems they missed an opportunity when they didn’t produce this car. 

Photo: Audi 

Audi E-Tron Spyder

Combining futuristic styling with electric powertrain technology, the Audi E-Tron Spyder shows where Audi is heading in the coming years. Audi billed the E-Tron Spyder as a purely-electric high-performance car. Powered by four motors, making it a Quattro, the E-Tron Spyder produced 313 hp. Performance was said to include a 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds. 

Photo: Audi 

>>Join the conversation about Audi concepts right here in the Audi World Forum!

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3,800-Mile 2011 Audi R8 V10 Spyder 6-Speed

Timeless and rare, the Audi V10 6-Speed is the ideal car for cruising South Beach as a superhero’s alter-ego.

January 27, 2022

People Forget Audi Makes a V10 Supercar

Quick, think of an exotic supercar! More than likely you pictured a Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, or Porsche. But most people forget Audi makes the R8. Introduced as a concept in 2003, the first-generation R8 was built from 2006 to 2015. Initially equipped with a 4.2 liter V8 and Quattro all-wheel drive, the R8 could hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and top out at 187 mph. The V10 version launched in 2008 built on those impressive numbers. It hits 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds and tops out at almost 200 mph, making it among the fastest cars in the world. This gorgeous example was recently auctioned and bid all the way up to $171,500.

Photos: Bring A Trailer

A Rare Car with Less Than 3,800 Miles!

The R8 in these pictures is a 2011 V10 Spyder featured recently featured on Bring A Trailer. Purchased new at Pembroke Pines Audi near Ft. Lauderdale, it only has 3,800 miles. No doubt it was taken out for cruises on the A1A or along Ocean Drive in Miami Beach. And as rare as it is, it probably got prime valet parking. Audi produces between 2,000 and 3,000 R8s a year, less than half of which are V10s.  

Body by Audi, Engine by Lambo

Audi designed the body of the R8 and used their own 4.2 liter V8 for the car. In 2008 they turned to Lamborghini for the V10 engine. Lamborghini and Audi are both part of the Volkswagen group and the R8 shares its platform with the Gallardo. So it made sense for the Audi to receive the FSI V10 engine. However, the engine is tuned differently than the Gallardo and sounds different. So you would never guess the two cars are siblings.   

Rare 6-Speed Manual

Something else that makes this Audi R8 V10 a rare car is the 6-speed manual transmission. Most R8s are equipped with an R-Tronic single clutch or S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. Both automatics are referred to as “auto-manuals” because they can be shifted manually using paddles mounted behind the steering wheel. Audi’s auto-manuals are among the best, but there’s no substitute for a smooth-shifting 6-speed and exposed metal gated gearshift. 

Pleasing and Functional Interior

Audi makes some of the best interiors in the auto business and this R8 is no exception. The black interior is offset by brushed aluminum trim. All of the materials are top quality and have a premium feel. Each button, knob, or switch has a precise feel that is aesthetically pleasing. And everything is laid out intuitively. Hop in and you’ll immediately be comfortable driving this supercar. 

Familiar Audi Face with Full LED Lighting

The Audi R8 shares the design of its front facia with other Audi cars and SUVs. Even though it’s a mid-engine car, the grille is functional and provides air to the radiators. The R8 is clearly related to the A8, TT, and A6, but was the first Audi to feature full LED lighting. LED lights have a number of benefits. They last longer than conventional lights, use less energy, and are significantly brighter. They are also more compact and weigh less, making them ideal for a performance car.