Audi Q5

The Audi Q5 has been among the most popular compact luxury crossover SUVs for years, and with good reason. It combines a spacious, comfortable and hushed cabin with Audi’s traditionally strong cabin quality and in-dash smarts. Plus, it drives nicely, with a planted ride and a smooth 2.0-liter four-cylinder delivering a useful 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.

Featuring Audi’s latest MMI infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, plus upscale options like a 755-watt, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system and Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster and head-up display, the Q5’s cabin tech game is arguably stronger than key rivals like the BMW X3, Infiniti QX50 and Lexus RX.

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Editors' First Take

The new 2018 Audi Q5 and 2017 Audi A4 Allroad both feature a new variation on the the automaker's famous Quattro all-wheel-drive power train. Dubbed "Quattro with ultra technology," the new system adds the ability to seamlessly decouple the front wheels to increase fuel economy. We've tested the system on both vehicles and found its operation so seamless that we couldn't tell what it was actually doing behind the scenes.

So I grabbed a Q5, cornered an Audi engineer and asked way too many questions. Here's what I learned.

A tale of two clutches

Like most tech, Audi's Quattro with Ultra consists of two parts: hardware and software. On the hardware side Ultra features an electronically controlled multiplate clutch where the prop shaft -- which sends power to the rear wheels -- meets the transmission and a dogleg clutch inside of the rear differential.

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