Audi is getting serious with its performance line of SUVs. The RS Q3 concept debuted less than two months ago, and now the German premium manufacturer is using the 24 Hours of Le Mans race to launch the production version of a high-performance Q5 diesel called the SQ5 TDI.
Based on the recently face-lifted Q5, the SQ5 TDI is powered by the twin-turbo 3.0-liter diesel V-6 in the A6 TDI Avant. The turbo-diesel engine makes 313 hp at 4500 rpm and 479 lb-ft of torque from 1450 to 2800 rpm. That’s too much torque for Audi's seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is why an eight-speed torque-converter automatic is used. Audi estimates the sprint from 0 to 62 mph will take just 5.1 seconds, while top speed is a governed 155 mph. These figures stand in remarkable contrast to the SQ5 TDI's consumption habits—the SUV gets 33 mpg in the European cycle, a figure that sounds realistic based on our experience with an A6 Avant featuring this very powertrain.
Quattro all-wheel drive is standard, as is a torque-vectoring system to enhance agility. The SQ5 is equipped with a sport suspension, and stands on 20-inch aluminum wheels with 255/45 rubber—a combination also available on lesser Q5 models. But the optional 21-inch wheels are available exclusively on the SQ5. Really, the visual differences between a Q5 equipped with the S-line package and this new SQ5 are rather subtle, which befits a true representative of Audi's S range. The SQ5’s body panels are unchanged; differences include a unique grille design with glossy double blades, aluminum-look side-mirror caps, an altered rear bumper, and quad exhaust tips.
Thanks to: Car and Driver