Hot Audi SQ5 TDI
Audi reveals hot diesel Q5 SUV at Le Mans – and a new line-up of other fast SUVs is expected, too
Audi has revealed a hot diesel Q5, called the SQ5 TDI, on the eve of the Le Mans 24hr race.
It is the performance S-badged SUV that Audi has launched and more are on the way, Auto Express has learned.
The SQ5 TDI is powered by a 309bhp 3.0-litre V6 bi-turbo diesel which has a huge 650Nm of torque. It does 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 155mph, yet also claims 39.2mpg.
In addition it boasts an eight-speed automatic gearbox, quattro four-wheel drive plus 30mm lower suspension, 20-inch alloy wheels, uprated brakes, a muscular bodykit and the choice of Estoril Blue or Panther Black paint.
The order books open in October with first deliveries set for spring 2013. The SQ5 TDI is priced at around £45,000.
While it has a long history of producing high performance versions of its estates and saloons, Audi has been slow to capitalise on the growing market for fast SUVs – demanded by buyers in the Europe, the middle east, the US and China – and this SQ5 TDI will be followed by more fast SUVs.
High-performance engine technology chief, Oliver Hoffmann, told Auto Express on the launch of the RS4 Avant: “You have to ask yourself, will it fit with the brand values of our S and RS models? Will it be agile enough, light enough, fast enough? We would never do an RS version of the Q7. Besides, the V12 diesel model is quite fast enough, but a smaller model [like the Q3 and Q5]? Yes, there is certainly room there.”
The SQ5 TDI will be joined by a production version of the Q3 RS concept, which was revealed at April's Beijing Motor Show. It will be powered by a 335bhp 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine, is set to go on sale in production form in 2014. Audi is also planning a range of hot diesel saloons include diesel versions of the S6 and S7.
In related news, the next generation R8 will be much more economical thanks to cylinder deactivation – a system which shuts down half the engine’s cylinders under light acceleration to save fuel. “It is already a feature of our new twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 [for the S6, S7 and S8 and Bentley Continental V8] and we can develop it for both the new V8 and V10 engines for the R8,” Oliver Hoffmann told us. “And although it is not necessarily something our customers have been calling for, we feel as engineers we must do it, to make our cars as efficient as possible.”