Traditionally, Audi’s sports range, as denoted by the alphabet ‘S’ in its name, has always been petrol powered. However, as diesel power plants are being accepted in more market segments than ever, Ingolstadt has introduced its first ever S model powered by a diesel engine – the Audi SQ5 TDI.
The range topping Q5 is equipped with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre diesel that generates 313hp (230kW) and a monstrous 650Nm of torque between 1,450 and 2,800 rpm. This is enough to propel the mid-size SUV from 0 – 100km/h (62mph) in just 5.1 seconds. Top speed is limited to the usual 250km/h.
The pair of turbochargers are connected in series via a flap. Cylinder head cooling, the timing and lift of the intake cam shafts, the pistons, their oil-jet cooling and the piston pins have been specially designed for the high-performance concept. The common rail system is pressurised at 2,000 bar and injects as many as 8 shots of fuel into the cylinders per cycle. To ensure the diesel engine produces the sporty required, a sound actuator is fitted in the exhaust to modulate the sound.
Audi claims the SQ5 will return just 7.2l/100km in fuel consumption, not bad for the level of performance. Innovative thermal management, engine start-stop and a regulated oil pump all contribute to this figure. The diesel engine is paired with an 8-speed auto and quattro AWD with torque vectoring.
The sporty SQ5 sits 30mm lower and can be optionally equipped with Audi drive select system, which can be expanded upon request to include dynamic steering system.
Styling elements that sets the Audi SQ5 apart from the rest of the range include a platinum grey single-frame grille with double bars, a roof spoiler, aluminium-look exterior mirrors and redesigned bumpers. Special crystal effect paint finishes – Panther Black or Estoril Blue (pictured) – have also been created for the SQ5.
As the sports model of the range, the interior is finished in black trim. The power-adjustable sports seats are upholstered in standard Pearl Nappa leather/Alcantara. Customers can also option their leather in a choice of four colours. Brushed aluminum inlays are standard. Options include Carbon Atlas, Piano finish and the new Aluminum/Beaufort wood black trim panels.
The instruments’ dials have a grey face with a “3D” S badge and white needles. To ensure that drivers are reminded they are in the top of the range Q5, the S badge can also be found on the gear lever knob, door sills and welcome screen.
The new Audi SQ5 TDI is scheduled to hit European showrooms in the first quarter of 2013.
Audi Australia is interested in adding the SQ5 TDI to their line-up but at this stage, the sporty SUV is not confirmed for Australia.