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2017 Audi Q5 revealed in Paris | video

Just as you would expect from a band, Audi has treaded carefully with the Q5.

Audi was facing the difficult second-album dilemma with its new Q5 - a huge global hit that sold more than 1.6 million units and became the number-one in its premium segment - but the new, second-generation car, launched at the Paris motor show, looks like another chart-topper already.

Just as you would expect from a band, Audi has treaded carefully with the Q5 and produced something that looks, and sounds, quite similar - or equally appealing - at first glance.

The new car is, of course, bigger yet lighter (up to 90kg lighter, thanks to the use of the new MQB platform it shares with the Q7 and A4), more powerful and more economical.

On the inside, it’s had the stunning upgrade to Audi’s Virtual Cockpit; a Minority Report-styled dash layout of lustrous and interactive screens.

Drivers, and passengers, will also be more comfortable than ever in there, thanks to Audi’s bold fitting of air suspension.

Overall, the cabin feels even classier and more modern than before, and perhaps ever so slightly more roomy (10mm of space goes to rear legroom, while boot volume lifts 10 litres to 550 litres, or 610 with some seat configurations.).

Drivers, and passengers, will also be more comfortable than ever in there, thanks to Audi’s bold fitting of air suspension, a first for this segment, which allows the Q5 to change its ride height - and aerodynamic profile - hunkering down to the road for high-speed cruising or sporty cornering.

A far less-used feature will be the ability to increase your ground clearance for off-roading at the flick of a switch, with up to 60mm of ride height available on demand.

In exterior terms, the new Q5 looks like the old one wasn’t broke so they didn’t need to fix it, at least at first glance.

From front on, however, there’s more width and aggression in and around the grille, with a touch more Q7.

Audi’s head of exterior design, Andreas Mindt, walked us around the car and pointed out small nips and tucks, like moving the shut-line of the rear door to the outer flanks to give it more width.

He also describes the subtle restyling of the front end as “”full and massive, and not weak at all”.

He’s most excited, however, about the shut-lines and creases along the flanks.

“These are a work of engineering genius,” he cooed. “No one else can make them like this; that’s a 2.5mm edge, and no other German car maker can do better than 8mm. It’s amazing.”

We’ll grant him the lines do look, and feel, very sharp.

The Q5 will arrive in Australia early next year, probably with fewer than the five engines offered in Europe, and the three brand new gearboxes (one of which is a manual).

The 2.0 TDI engines offer outputs of 110kW, 120kW or 140kW, while the all-new 2.0-litre TFSI petrol makes 185 kW while using just 6.8 litres per 100km.

The Virtual Cockpit isn't the only tech that makes the new Q5 special, because it also offers a whopping 30 forms of “driver assistance”, which are broken into Tour, City and Parking, and “represent a next step towards piloted driving”.

The Q5 is also the first Audi to hit the road with the company’s new “swarm intelligence”, which soaks up information about the environment its driving in, using its various sensors, and shares them via the cloud with  an omnipotent computer system. The goal being to constantly improve mapping and traffic information in real time.

It’s hard to argue with Audi’s claims that he Q5 looks set to be “the champion of its segment” again.

Has Audi built a better Q5? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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