Don’t be fooled by the relatively short list of mods on this Audi Q5 (the car was acquired in the middle of 2010) – its owner is a man who knows what he wants, to say nothing of how he’s a man of taste and discretion.
After all, how many people do you know create spreadsheets to determine which ECU upgrade would give them the best horsepower-to-dollar ratio? And it was only after such careful consideration that the owner of this Q5 decided on a power upgrade kit from MTM.
The German tuner is famed for creating some lunatic Audis (such as a 722bhp RS6 Avant), so the Stage 1 tune on this Q5 should be child’s play.
Even so, the MTM ECU reflash now sees this Q5 develop 270bhp, a considerable increase over the 211bhp it left the factory with. Along with the added horsepower output, its torque figure rises as well, by 40Nm to 390Nm. It should also be said that these figures were verified by the owner on a dyno and right in line with MTM’s claims.
Given all the hard work its owner put into finding the best power upgrade for his Q5, you might naturally assume the wide bodykit his ride is equipped with underwent the same rigorous selection process.
However, the reality is that for this Q5’s owner, choosing a bodykit was a far easier decision. As he puts it, “I knew the wide bodykit from Caractere was going to be it. I didn’t even bother looking for anything else.”
It’s no wonder, considering the Caractere kit sits perfectly with what he was trying to achieve with his Q5 – that is, give it a more butch look while retaining a relatively “clean” outward appearance.
On that latter point, it’s testament to the bodykit’s installers and, indeed, Caractere’s design that everything looks like it could have come straight from Ingolstadt, such is the quality of the fit. For a good example of what we’re talking about, you’ll have to look no further than how well the heavily blistered fender flares sit on the wheel arches.
Complementing the wider bodystyle is a set of 22-inch Vossen wheels. Unfortunately, these wheels constituted a bit of work for the owner of this Q5. For starters, most local shops don’t stock 22-inch tyres, so the 265/35 R22 Pirelli Scorpions had to be specially ordered in.
In addition to that, his careful, analytical nature came to the fore again when he was choosing wheel spacers, as he needed to get the wheel offset just right. The result, though, is plain to see, with the wheels sitting perfectly flush with the Caractere bodykit’s flared fenders.
Lurking behind the front wheels are a positively massive pair of 6-pot Brembo brake callipers grabbing an equally massive pair of 380mm cross-drilled rotors.
Naturally, seeing as how this Q5 has such beefed-up looks, it should go without saying that its exhaust system is just as brawny. To make sure this Q5 sounds as good as it looks, the owner has gone for a Caractere exhaust, and he likes it just as much as the bodykit.
He says, “This system sounds really good without the boominess on the inside, but sounds wicked when you wind the windows down and floor it in a tunnel. I love it!”
But for all that, it might surprise you to learn that the owner wasn’t a fan of SUVs – in fact, it’s his first one. That said, it’s a car he’s “grown to love”. What might not raise any eyebrows, though, is that he’s a car nut, as evidenced by his other car, a modified-to-the-gills Volkswagen Passat CC (he’s also recently sold off an Audi TT RS, which he used primarily as a track-day car).
Against his Passat CC, his Q5 may be light on mods, but that’s about to change in the near future. He’s planning to do some under-bonnet work that includes Audi R8 spark plugs, custom headers and an upgraded intercooler. He’s even considering a sinister-looking matte-finish wrap to further enhance its aesthetics.
Not bad, considering he wasn’t even intending to modify the Q5 beyond the bodykit and wheels. But as most people who have modded their cars will tell you, one thing led to another, and the rest, as some other people say, is history.
Caractere wide bodykit
Custom Audi Q5 running boards
Philips HID bulbs
MTM Stage 1 ECU tuning
Caractere exhaust system
Custom diverter valve
+ Suspension/ Handling
Brembo 6-pot brake callipers (front)
Brembo 380mm brake rotors (front)
Vossen 22-inch wheels
Pirelli Scorpion 265/35 R22 tyres