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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have no idea about tow bars so bare with me.
1) What is the difference between a tow bar and a tow hitch? Same thing?
2) Is the factory q5 tow bar the "round" or "square" type? Google images shows pictures of both.
3) What is the difference between the two types, is it square for the US/AUS round for the UK/Europe?

I only need to carry a thule bike rack.
I do not care about carrying cars/boats/houses/etc.
I do not care for lights/fridges wiring, fan/alternator upgrades, parking sensors/esp modifcations, etc. etc.
What I care about is not being able to see the tow bar on the car when not in use.
Google images shows some horrid bumper/panel cutouts with what looks like piping sticking out of them.

4) So question is, is the q5 tow bar the same as the a6 one in the youtube video "Audi Factory Fit Towbar"? (couldn't make the link work or even copy and paste for that matter)
Trouble is my bumper already is showing a panel while the a6 has none?

If anyone has the stock tow bar on an s-line please post a pic of it when not in use as I tried to find one and couldn't.

5) If I am unlucky is there an aftermarket tow bar that is hidden? I saw some on Google images which fitted below the bumper (no damage to the bumper) but still horribly visible so those are a no go as well.
 

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Hi, the factory fit retractable towbar is completely hidden and undetectable when stowed. Theres a small panel right under the rear bumper which you need to remove (very simple to do) before pulling a lever (behind a removable panel in the boot) to deploy the towbar. All simplicity itself and very neat. The towbar has a standard 50mm towball perfectly suitable for any standard towbar mounted cycle carrier.
 

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1. Yes, same thing - hitch os more of an americanism
2. Depends on region (see 3.)
3. In the US you can't get it factory fitted, it is installed at the US Port. They get one that is detachable, but still leaves a small square showing.
Like this;


In Europe it is factory installed and it doesn't detach but swivels up into the back underneath leaving no trace...
Best image I could find, but it curves out from under the bumper;


Where are you based?
 

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I remember the day I went to collect my Q5 and asked the salesman where was my towbar! Neatest towbar solution I've ever come across.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys you have cleared everything up for me.
So it is exactly as the a6 only you have to remove the panel for yourself, it is indeed a beautiful solution, very audi like.
I wonder if you pull the lever on the q5 before removing the panel what happens? One cracked panel? or not enough force?
The above picture which the hacksaw cutout and the square pipe sticking out of makes me cringe everytime, fine on a truck wrong on a premium suv imo.
I will get the stock one fitted, should cost more than the rack but worth it.
I have to say after watching that a6 vid it beats hands down my powered boot, don't have a pano roof
which is my biggest regret, as is the camera and now the tow bar...
 

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Yea - post install tow is pretty expensive


They have to re-code the car for it etc as well. I've seen even Audi shops get that wrong so be sure all the MMI functions etc work afterwards still...

Quite agree on the cut out US version - I don't envy those guys! They bitch about it on the US forums all the time! Apparently its because the folding swivel type doesn't conform to US regs.

I've not tried to pull the handle with the hatch in place, it does come down with quite a thud - it actually locks itself into place as it falls, so needs a bit of momentum to do so. I doubt it would damage the panel though as it only sits just above it so won't have got much speed up yet, plus I'm sure Audi will have thought of that faux pas.
 

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I have the factory fitted swivel version too.
It's only used for a bike rack (Atera Strada 3 bike + additional bike extender unit model - roofbox.co.uk - about £400) and both are great pieces of kit.
Tip - dealers will try to sell you the male / female pin adapter for UK use (about £25) but, given the rack I use is (and most seem to be) German manufactured (ie. like the car), it doesn't need it.
 

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I have the factory fitted swivel version too.
It's only used for a bike rack (Atera Strada 3 bike + additional bike extender unit model - roofbox.co.uk - about £400) and both are great pieces of kit.
Tip - dealers will try to sell you the male / female pin adapter for UK use (about £25) but, given the rack I use is (and most seem to be) German manufactured (ie. like the car), it doesn't need it.
Bikes are the reason we have gone for the factory tow bar. That bike rack you have is the one I have been looking at. Good to know that it does a good job and that an adapter isn't required.
 
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