On the road with the new Q5.
Viajes a México
We are traveling the 6,198.15 miles from Berlin to Mexico to take a closer look at the new Audi Q5 on a road trip. From Los Cabos – at the most southerly point of the Mexican peninsula Baja California, we head to Todos Santos – in the southeastern part of Baja.
It is cold and the dead of night when we arrive at the airport in Mexico City at 4:30 a.m., after a 12-hour flight. We have (a lot of) time, as our connecting flight to San José Del Cabo doesn’t take off until 10:30 a.m. For some reason, we anticipated more pleasant temperatures; completely forgetting that the megacity is located in a valley 7,500 feet above sea level. And so, we freeze at 32°F, dreaming of sun, beaches, and ocean in the next stage of our little adventure.
The long-awaited sunshine greets us at San José Del Cabo Airport with a comfortable 86°F – and we quickly forget the stresses and strains of the previous nights. From there, we head to the starting point of our Mexico road trip in the new Audi Q5, Los Cabos. This seaside resort is on the most southerly point of the Mexican peninsula Baja California, on the west coast of the country, and comprises Cabo San Luca and San José del Cabo, another bathing resort 18 miles to the east.
The Mexican state of Baja California (Spanish for Lower California) is the most northerly and westerly of the 31 Mexican federal states. The southern half of the peninsula of the same name, Baja California, was separated in 1974 and turned into the state Baja California Sur. The area to the north of the peninsula borders the Mexican state of Sonora to the east and the US states of California and Arizona to the north. To the west is the Pacific Ocean, and to the east of the peninsula is the Gulf of California. Baja California covers an area of 26,996 square miles and has an estimated population of almost 3.2 million people (as of 2010). They live almost exclusively in the very north of the state, on the border to the United States. The population centers are the state capital Mexicali and the largest city in Baja California, Tijuana, both of which are important border crossings to the USA. The peninsula itself is very thinly populated. In 1996, a 100,000 m² (0.04 square mile) area was converted into what was then the largest movie studio on the American West Coast. Large parts of James Cameron’s movie “Titanic” were then filmed there.
The ranges of high mountains in the interior of the country, the steppe-like sandy deserts, the beautiful beaches, and the crystal-clear water make Los Cabos a popular vacation destination and a mecca for water sports enthusiasts. It is ideal for bathing, diving, snorkeling, and surfing, but also different forms of fishing. Along the “corridor” connecting the two localities are luxurious hotel facilities, impressive wellness centers, and huge golf courses, which have helped make Los Cabos renowned. The highway along the coast is lined with more beaches, which are very popular for water sports. Playa Médano, the beach closest to Cabo San Lucas, is without doubt the party center: bars, clubs, and select restaurants give Cabo San Lucas its characteristic glamorous, never-ending-party atmosphere. Try a congelada from Jamaica (rose hip sorbet) or a crushed-ice margarita in the local restaurants, while being enchanted by both sides of Los Cabos.
While we make our way in the new Audi Q5 to Todos Santos – a journey of over 62 miles past morbid rest stops, through impressive cacti landscapes and a backdrop that reminds us of the movie “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” directed by Robert Rodriguez – we have enough time to take a closer look at the new Audi. The company’s new SUV is sporty yet firm on the road. A shoulder line with striking oscillations and incisive undercut provides the structure of the lateral view. The strongly emphasized wheel arches point to the permanent Quattro all-wheel drive. Horizontal lines on the hood and trunk emphasize the feeling of breadth and presence. The trunk lid encompasses the C pillars – a typical feature of the Audi Q models. Audi offers the new Q5 in 14 paint colors. Five newly developed design lines are available – “Sport,” “Design,” the “S Line sports package,” the “Design Selection,” and the “S Line exterior package.” The interior has plenty of space for five people. Like the Q7 and the A4, the new Audi Q5 features the intelligent “Personal Route Assist.” When this function is activated, the navigation system learns the regularly driven routes and destinations and links this information with the parking location and time of day. The new Audi Q5 is being launched in Europe with five strong and efficient engines – four TDIs and a TFSI. The 2.0 TDI engines in the new Q5 with 110 kW (150 hp), 120 kW (163 hp), and 140 kW (190 hp) are particularly efficient. Rupert Stadler, CEO of AUDI AG, adds enthusiastically: “The first Audi Q5 was the bestselling SUV in its class for many years. It was no easy task to design its successor, but that itself was the attraction. The biggest innovations include the Quattro drive with Ultra technology, the highly efficient engines, the air suspension with damping control, and the comprehensive range of infotainment and assistance systems.”
As the final stage, we reach Todos Santos, in the south-eastern part of Baja, right by the Pacific and a mecca for surfers. The legendary Hotel California, built in the colonial style in 1928, is also located in the village. In 1976, The Eagles were so inspired by the ambience that they composed the song “Hotel California” there. We also allow ourselves to be inspired and spend a few hours on the beach before heading back to our homeland.