Audi developing 400-hp RS Q5?

Audi developing 400-hp RS Q5?

A new report claims the next generation of the Audi Q5 will turn the performance dial up to 11 with a 400-horsepower RS-badged model developed by the company’s quattro division.

German magazine Auto Bild reports the first-ever RS Q5 will be powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine tuned to send 400 ponies to all four wheels via a dual-clutch automatic transmission controlled by shift paddles. The crossover will be capable of reaching 62 mph from a stop in less than five seconds, but its top speed will be electronically limited to 155 mph.

At the other end of the spectrum, the next Q5 will be offered with a fuel-sipping plug-in hybrid drivetrain, a first in the nameplate’s seven-year history. While full technical details aren’t available yet, insiders have hinted the drivetrain will generate a combined output of 252 horsepower, and it will be able to power the crossover on electricity alone for a little over 40 miles.

Mid-range models will carry on with gasoline- and diesel-burning engines sourced from the Volkswagen Group parts bin. Audi will give the front-wheel drive Q5 the axe, which means that even entry-level models will come standard with the company’s quattro all-wheel drive system.

Expected to bow at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, the next Audi Q5 is scheduled to go on sale in Europe and in the United States late next year, and both the plug-in hybrid and the range-topping RS Q5 model will arrive approximately a year later. U.S.-spec models will be built in Mexico.