Awesome new SQ5 TDI
Audi has revealed its new SQ5 TDI with even more power and performance than before.
New performance, new technology and new levels of luxury and appointment mark the latest incarnation of the Audi SQ5 TDI as an SUV with extreme attitude.
27 February, 2019
Audi has taken the wraps off the newest incarnation of the powerhouse SQ5 – a vehicle that single-handedly redefined the SUV segment when it first appeared on the world scene. In fact when it made its debut at LeMans in 2012, the SQ5 TDI was the fastest diesel-powered SUV in the world.
With this new model of the tremendously popular high-performance SUV, the TDI powerplant has undergone significant work, to achieve even greater levels of performance and economy than ever before.
The styling is pure SQ5 – read aggressive and purposeful. Strongly contoured air inlets up front and a diffuser insert with a honeycomb grille at the rear are touches that catch the eye, while the Singleframe grille features double aluminium slats and contrasting trim elements in twilight grey matt and the S logo is subtly deployed.
LED lighting technology is used extensively, adding both to the vehicle’s appearance and giving superior lighting in all conditions. Other subtle cues as to this vehicle’s special pedigree include the aluminium-look wing mirrors which is an ’S’ standard for those who know what to look for.
The overall impression is one of a vehicle that means business, and the figures back up that impression and then some. Think 700Nm of torque and power output of 255kW from the 3.0-litre V6 powerplant. That torque is on tap from 2500 to 3100rpm and the SQ5 TDI sees off the race from zero to 100km/h in just 5.1 seconds.
The technology draws significantly on that first seen in the larger, SQ7, with a 48-volt main electrical system that includes an electric powered compressor (EPC) and a mild hybrid system. Energy is stored in a compact lithium-ion battery with an electrical capacity of 10 Ah located beneath the luggage compartment floor and an AC/DC converter connects the conventional 12-volt electrical system.
... 700Nm of torque and power output of 255kW from the 3.0-litre V6 powerplant, to see off the race from zero to 100km/h in just 5.1 seconds
The MHEV system (mild hybrid electric vehicle) reduces real-world fuel consumption by as much as 0.7 litres per 100 kilometres
The electric powered compressor works with the turbo, assisting when there’s insufficient exhaust gas flow to drive the turbocharger – acceleration at low revs for example. High torque is available immediately with nary a trace of turbo lag not only providing instant performance but helping keep consumption to figures that belie its performance credentials.
The electric powered compressor is located in the intake air path downstream of the intercooler and close to the engine. If the load demand from the accelerator is high but there is still too little boost from the turbocharger, the EPC fires up. A compact electric motor with an output of 7kW accelerates the compressor wheel to 65,000 rpm in roughly 300 milliseconds, producing a relative boost pressure of 1.4 bar.
But this is just one aspect of the drive system in the new SQ5 TDI. The MHEV system (mild hybrid electric vehicle) reduces real-world fuel consumption by as much as 0.7 litres per 100 kilometres. It uses a belt alternator-starter (BAS) connected to the crankshaft, which can recuperate up to 12kW of energy under deceleration. This electrical energy is then stored in the lithium-ion battery, from where it is dynamically distributed to the consumers in the electrical system. Like the Audi A8 and A7 Sportback, the SQ5 TDI can either recuperate or roll at idle with the clutch disengaged or coast with the engine off for up to 40 seconds at speeds between 55 and 160km/h.
The next time the driver touches the accelerator, the BAS smoothly restarts the engine. The MHEV technology also allows for start/stop operation at a speed of up to 22km/h and if the vehicle is equipped with the adaptive cruise control (ACC), the engine restarts while the brake pedal is still depressed as soon as the vehicle in front of the SQ5 TDI begins to move.
The power of the SQ5 TDI is harnessed through an eight-speed tiptronic transmission geared for a perfect balance between performance and optimum fuel consumption, and power goes down to the road surface through quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Its self-locking centre differential distributes torque between the front and rear axle in a 40:60 ratio in normal circumstances, but when slip is detected, the majority of the power is directed to the axle with the better traction with up to 70 percent available to the front or 85 percent to the rear.
An intelligent software function called wheel selection torque control works with the quattro, braking the inside wheels during hard cornering and sending the power to the wheels with the better traction. Customers can also opt for a sport differential on the rear axle that distributes the power between the rear wheels during dynamic cornering.
Ride and handling is further enhanced with a sophisticated five-link suspension at the front and rear as well as the optional dynamic steering, which uses strain wave gearing to vary the steering ratio over a very wide range as a function of speed and steering angle. The suspension with damper control comes standard in the new SQ5 TDI, lowering the body by 30 millimetres over the Q5 with standard suspension and offering a particularly wide spread between comfort and dynamics. Audi also offers the S-specific adaptive air suspension as another option which adapts not just the damping but also the body’s trim to the respective driving situation.
Needless to say the SQ5 TDI offers a full suite of driver assistance systems as part of its extensive safety portfolio. From Audi active lane assist to rear cross traffic assist, exit warning, collision avoidance assist and turn assist, the SQ5 TDI is at the very cutting edge of automotive technology and safety equipment.
The suspension with damper control comes standard in the new SQ5 TDI, lowering the body by 30 millimetres over the Q5 with standard suspension
...its balance of luxury, practicality and supreme performance making for a vehicle that lends itself perfectly to the modern lifestyle
Likewise infotainment and interior appointment are at the very cutting-edge with natural-language voice control, optional Audi virtual cockpit, head-up display and MMI navigation plus with MMI all-in-touch and an 8.3-inch display all available. The Audi connect brings the internet onboard the SQ5 TDI via LTE and provides a WiFi hotspot for the passengers’ mobile devices, while the Audi phone box connects smartphones to the on-board antenna by near-field coupling and simultaneously charges them inductively using the Qi standard. The Audi smartphone interface brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into the car and the stunning Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound is also available.
As with all Audis, the interior of the SQ5 is a luxurious place to be. The S sport seats in leather and Alcantara can be upgraded to fine Nappa leather with rhombus pattern and a pneumatic massage function, while brushed aluminium inlays are standard, with elegant wood applications or an exclusive carbon inlay available as options. The generous dimensions of the SQ5 mean that each occupant wants for nothing when it comes to relaxing, and with the optional rear seat bench plus which splits the rear into three segments, myriad adjustments become possible. Once again, generous storage exists to cater for the busy lifestyle – the 550 litres of storage can easily be increased to 1550 litres by folding down the rear seat backrests.
Since its first appearance, the SQ5 has met with tremendous popular and critical success around the world – its balance of luxury, practicality and supreme performance making for a vehicle that lends itself perfectly to the modern lifestyle. This newest incarnation of Audi’s mid-size, sporty SUV takes that past success and further refines it and hones it to an even keener edge.
*At time of writing Australian availability and specification was yet to be confirmed.
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