Six years after the Audi R10 made history on the circuit as the first ever sports prototype to win at Le Mans under TDI power, the new SQ5 TDI high-performance SUV is about to post another milestone on UK roads as the first ever diesel-fuelled ‘S’ model.
Offering a choice blend of 313PS and 41mpg-plus capability, the new high-performance SUV is available to order now priced at £43,870 OTR, and will reach its first UK customers next spring.
To deliver figures that do full justice to the ‘S’ badge and also exemplify famed TDI frugality, the SQ5 TDI uses the latest 3.0-litre V6 BiTDI engine, which underpins its 313PS output, delivered between 3,900 and 4,500rpm, with a peak 650 Nm of torque relayed between 1,450 and 2,800 rpm.
Channeling its power through an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and via quattro all-wheel-drive, it punches the SQ5 TDI to 62mph from rest in just 5.1 seconds and on to a governed 155mph top speed. With the help of innovative thermal management, the engine start-stop system and a regulated oil pump, it also delivers up to 41.5mpg according to the official combined cycle test, equating to CO2 output of 179g/km.
The powerful new unit’s best-of-all-worlds ability is achieved with the help of two turbochargers, which 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 also been specially designed for high performance. A sound actuator in the exhaust system also helps to blur the boundaries, giving the full-bodied V6 TDI exhaust note a gruff edge reminiscent of a classic sports car.
Lowered ride height
Running 30 millimetres lower than the standard Q5 on exclusive ‘S’ sports suspension, and with its arches amply filled by 20-inch ‘five parallel spoke design’ alloy wheels, the SQ5 TDI is able to take the latest generation SUV’s already strong reputation for delivering surprisingly nimble handling and build on it. Its suitably sporting driving characteristics can also be fine-tuned further if the optional Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system is specified.
Audi drive select offers a choice of Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Efficiency modes – a fifth Individual mode allowing an even greater degree of customisation is also available if optional HDD satellite navigation is also installed. These modes influence the weighting of the electromechanical power steering, the transmission shift points, the throttle response and the exhaust sound actuator, but they can also vary the ratio of the steering and the operating characteristics of the suspension if the additional dynamic steering and damper control options are ordered.
Aside from the large diameter wheels with their black brake callipers displaying the SQ5 logo, the most eye-catching design cues distinguishing the new SQ5 TDI are the platinum grey single-frame grille with its galvanized aluminium-look double bars, the aluminium-look door mirror housings, the roof spoiler, the ‘S’ specific bumper design and the quadruple tailpipes.In keeping with all other ‘S’ models, the SQ5 TDI also features xenon headlights with LED daytime running lamps.
As is typical for an S model, the interior is finished predominantly in black as standard, but a lunar silver headlining and a variety of insert colours for the seats can be specified as an option. The electrically-adjustable sport seats are upholstered in Fine Nappa leather as standard, complementing matt brushed aluminium inlays. Grey instrument dials with white needles and a 3D-design S badge, an S gear lever knob, S badges on the door sill trims, an engine starter button and an exclusive S design steering wheel also bear testament to the SQ5 TDI’s ranking in the range.
Standard equipment also includes a 180-watt Audi sound system accessed via a Concert radio with 6.5-inch colour monitor and MMI operating logic, a Bluetooth interface, cruise control, deluxe three-zone climate control, light and rain sensors and acoustic rear parking sensors. From the options list, customers can add features such as a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system and a highly cost-effective Technology Package, which combines hard disc-based satellite navigation with Audi Music Interface iPod connection and the Audi Parking System Plus. Audi connect, bringing services from Google to the car and creating an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, is also available.