New Audi SQ5 TDI announced: mild-hybrid diesel pumps out 700Nm of torque

The performance version of Audi’s mid-range SUV, featuring a 342bhp V6 diesel supported by an electric motor, will arrive later this year

Audi has announced the specification for its new SQ5, which now packs diesel power. The new model boasts a range of engine, styling and interior upgrades over the standard Q5, and will be available to order from spring.

Under the bonnet sits a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 diesel engine that is supplemented by a 48V mild-hybrid system which also powers an electric compressor to reduce turbo lag. It produces a maximum combined output of 342bhp and 700Nm of torque.

Audi Q5 review

Power is fed through an eight-speed automatic gearbox to a permanent all-wheel-drive system, capable of sending up to 85 per cent of the engine’s power to the rear axle. Audi claims this drivetrain gives the SQ5 TDI a 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

The SQ5 TDI’s electric compressor is mounted between the intercooler and the intake and acts as an assistant to the turbocharger. It works by compensating for the turbo’s lack of boost at low revs by adding extra pressure to the intake up to a maximum of 1.4 bar (roughly 20 psi).

Audi’s 48V mild-hybrid system comprises a belt-driven alternator-starter and a small lithium-ion battery. It’s fitted with an energy recovery system which can recuperate up to 12kW of charge during deceleration, which can then be used to propel the SQ5 TDI over short distances at speeds of up to 13mph.

Thanks to its hybrid system, Audi claims the new SQ5 TDI can achieve claimed economy figures of up 34.4mpg on the WLTP cycle.

Chassis upgrades over the standard Q5 are also plentiful, with “S” models receiving active dampers, torque vectoring differentials, adaptively-weighted steering and larger disc brakes, with six-piston calipers up front and four-piston calipers for the rear.

The exterior or the SQ5 TDI is set apart from the standard Q5 with the addition of 20-inch alloy wheels, fresh LED headlights, an updated front bumper with bigger air intakes, a deeper splitter, a revised rear bumper, a new rear diffuser, aluminium-look mirror caps and a range of “S” badging.

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Standard interior equipment for the SQ5 TDI includes a pair of Alcantara-trimmed sports seats, a leather multifunction steering wheel, a roaming WiFi hotspot, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and an 8.3-inch infotainment system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Buyers chasing a broader list of equipment can opt for the SQ5 TDI Vorsprung edition. This trim level adds a range of optional extras including Nappa leather upholstery, a Bang & Olufsen stereo system, active air suspension, red brake calipers and 21-inch alloy wheels in one of three styles.

The Vorsprung edition also comes as standard with a suite of driver assistance technology, such as collision avoidance assist, active lane assist, parking assist, traffic sign recognition, hill descent control and automatic emergency braking.

Now read our review of the standard Audi Q5. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…

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