The current, petrol-powered Audi SQ5 offers just 500 Nm of torque from its 3.0 litre turbocharged V6, which is rather pathetic for some. To make sure this doesn’t become a prolonged issue, the German carmaker has introduced the new SQ5 TDI.
The sporty SUV packs a diesel-fuelled 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 with a more substantial 700 Nm, and the horsepower count isn’t disappointing at 347 PS, which is just a little less than the SQ5 TFSI’s 354 PS.
Along with an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox and quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, Audi says the SQ5 TDI will accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds (SQ5 takes 5.4 seconds), and on to a limited top speed of 250 km/h.
This level of performance is also supported by a 48-volt main electrical system (derived from the SQ7 TDI), which includes an electric powered compressor and a mild hybrid system. The former provides assistance whenever the exhaust gas flow provides too little energy to drive the variable turbine geometry (VTG) turbocharger, spooling up to 65,000 rpm in roughly 300 milliseconds for a relative boost pressure of 1.4 bar.
Meanwhile, the mild hybrid system helps to reduce real-world fuel consumption by as much as 0.7 l/100 km, and consists of a belt alternator-starter (BAS) connected to the crankshaft and a lithium-ion battery (10 Ah) underneath the boot floor. There’s also an AC/DC converter connected to the conventional car’s 12-volt electrical system.
Depending on the Audi drive select mode chosen, the car will either recuperate energy (up to 12 kW), roll at idle with the clutch disengaged or coast with the engine off for up to 40 seconds. This is if the driver lifts off the accelerator at speeds between 55 and 160 km/h. The mild hybrid system also allows for start/stop operation at a speed of up to 22 km/h.
A range of extras can be included for improved dynamics, starting with optional dynamic steering that uses strain wave gearing to vary the steering ratio over a very wide range as a function of speed and steering angle.
The standard suspension with damper control provides a lower ride height by 30 mm compared to a regular Q5, but there’s also an S-specific adaptive air suspension. Both setups are linked to the Audi drive select system. There’s also 21-inch wheels that can be fitted in place of the standard 20-inch units, along with either black or red calipers (six-piston front).
Visually, the SQ5 TDI looks similar to its petrol-powered sibling, with model-specific bumpers and a a diffuser insert with a honeycomb grille at the rear. The Singleframe grille gets double aluminum slats and twilight gray matte trim, while the side mirror caps sport an aluminum-look finish.
Inside, you get the usual mix of sporty goodies like S sport seats in leather and Alcantara that can be upgraded to fine Nappa leather with rhombus pattern and a pneumatic massage function for those who want some plushness. There’s also illuminated S-branded door sills, a choice of dash inlays (brushed aluminium, wood, carbon) and stainless steel pedals.