Audi SQ5 returns with diesel power
Audi has reintroduced its sporty SQ5 SUV with a powerful mild-hybrid emissions-reducing diesel engine.
The first-generation performance version of the Audi Q5 was diesel-only, although the second-generation model – introduced in 2017 – came with a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine.
As with many German performance cars, the petrol SQ5 was killed off last year by the new and stringent WLTP emissions regulations. Audi was a big victim of this, with most of its performance ‘S’ and ‘RS’ models temporarily removed from sale.
But the new SQ5 TDI is a return to form, with its twin-turbo 3.0-litre diesel engine churning out 342bhp and 700Nm of torque. The latter is the most impressive, helping the SQ5 to sprint from 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds and keep going to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. Power is sent to all four wheels by an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission.
The engine also features 48V mild-hybrid technology to help reduce fuel consumption when coasting or idling. The unit also uses electrically powered compression adopted from the larger SQ7’s engine, which helps to ensure a rapid power delivery with no turbo lag.
Audi adopts a toned-down approach with the SQ5’s styling, with few differences over the standard Q5. It does, however, feature revised bumpers, an aluminium Singleframe front grille and 20-inch alloy wheels to set it apart from the Q5. Panther Black paint is also exclusive to the SQ5.
Two trim levels will be offered on the model – SQ5 TDI and SQ5 TDI Vorsprung.
Standard equipment includes an 8.3-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, Nappa leather sports seats, LED lights and a digital ’Virtual Cockpit’, while Vorsprung grade adds matrix LED headlights, park assist and a head-up display, to name just a few of the extras.
Sales for the SQ5 TDI are expected to start in the spring, with prices to be announced nearer the time.