There was a time when new model were only revealed at European and American motor shows. No more; China with its billion-plus market and insatiable appetite for cars is growing in importance every day. Witness Audi's launch of its smaller Q5 4WD at the Beijing Motor Show.

Honey I shrunk the 4WD
From some angles the Q5 looks like a shrunken VW Touareg. It is considerably smaller, though, than both its corporate cousin and its big daddy, the Q7, which is five metres long and weighs almost 2.3 tonnes. Based on the A4 sedan, the Q5 stretches the tape measure at only 4.6m; Audi has yet to name a weight though.


It's hard to tell from this angle, but Audi may have toned down its usual impeccable sense of interior style a bit with the Q5. On the upside, though, Audi will offer, depending on the engine, either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual (dubbed S-tronic).


Funky lights
The Q5 continues Audi's obsession with LED lights, both at the front, à la the R8 supercar, and also at the back. Just like on the bigger Q7, the rear lights lift up with the tailgate.


What?!? No V8?
When the Q5 starts rolling into European showrooms, there'll be a choice of three engines. A turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol and two diesels: a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder and 3.0-litre turbo V6. As it's based on the A4/A5, it's not unreasonable to expect more engines in the future, like the S5's 4.2-litre V8.

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