Audi TDI power flexes its considerable muscle both on and off the circuit in this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race as the new road-going Audi SQ5 TDI makes a very fitting debut at the annual endurance marathon alongside the diesel-powered Audi R18 sports prototypes.
The new super-SUV will be notable as the first TDI-powered ‘S’ model in the history of the Vorsprung durch Technik brand, and will offer a choice blend of 313PS and 39mpg capability. It is scheduled to open for UK order in October priced at around £45,000 ahead of first deliveries next spring.
The 3.0-litre BiTDI engine powering the new Audi SQ5 TDI produces a brawny 313PS and 650 Nm of torque between 1,450 and 2,800 rpm. Channelled through an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and via quattro all-wheel-drive it is good for a 0-62mph time of just 5.1 seconds and a governed 155mph top speed, and sounds every inch an ‘S’ model as it punches at the horizon thanks to a specially developed sound actuator in the exhaust system which enriches the exhaust note.
With the help of innovative thermal management, the engine start-stop system and a regulated oil pump, economy remains firmly in TDI territory, with up to 39.2mpg possible according to the combined cycle test.
The TDI unit more than makes the grade required for Audi ‘S’ series performance thanks to its 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. The common rail system develops as much as 2,000 bar of pressure and injects as many as eight shots of fuel into the cylinders per cycle.
The Lowered ride height of the Audi SQ5 TDI The electromechanical power steering in the Audi SQ5 TDI is sensitive and highly efficient. Sport suspension lowers its body by 30 millimetres. The standard 20-inch wheels, which at the front frame black brake callipers with ‘S’ badging, feature a five parallel-spoke design and are fitted with 255/45 tyres. Optional wheels measuring 21 inches in diameter are also available. The optional Audi drive select system can be expanded upon request to include the dynamic steering system with its steplessly variable steering ratio.
The most eye-catching design cues distinguishing the new Audi SQ5 TDI are the platinum grey single-frame grille with its galvanized double bars in an aluminium-look finish, the roof spoiler and the modified bumpers. The high-gloss package and the aluminium-look exterior mirrors accentuate the area around the windows. Audi offers the new top model in the crystal effect paint finishes Estoril Blue or Panther Black. The body includes a high proportion of ultra-high-strength steels, making it very light, safe and rigid.
As is typical for an S model, the interior is finished predominantly in black, but the headlining is optionally available in lunar silver. The power-adjustable sport seats are leather-upholstered as standard, complementing brushed aluminium inlays. Inlay options include Carbon Atlas, Piano finish and the new Aluminum/Beaufort wood black trim panels.
The instrument dials are grey and include a 3D-design S badge, the needles are white and the pedals and shift paddles have an aluminium-look finish. Additional visual highlights in the interior are the S gear lever knob, the S badges on the door sill trims, the start button, the specially-shaped steering wheel and the lighting package.
Options also include Audi’s state-of-the-art assistance and infotainment systems as well as Audi connect services, bringing the many benefits of the internet to the car.
Luggage capacity is as much as 1,560 litres, making the Audi SQ5 TDI the ideal car for active customers. It is also an unusually powerful towing vehicle, with a rated towing capacity of up to 2.4 metric tons.