SQ5 TDI is back
Due to popular demand, the torquey SQ5 TDI makes a welcome return to Australia.
SQ5 customers are now able to choose between TFSI or TDI power, with the return to Australia of the turbo-diesel variant.
4 September, 2020
It was the first member of the Audi ‘Q’ family ever to wear the coveted ’S’ badge, and from the very first instant, the SQ5 TDI was an international success
It was the first member of the Audi ‘Q’ family ever to wear the coveted ’S’ badge, and from the very first instant, the SQ5 TDI was an international success. It was also a turbo-diesel model, which raised the odd eyebrow – but then Audi had already become the first manufacturer to win the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans with TDI power (2006), so the idea of a high-performance luxury SUV really wasn’t a stretch.
Fittingly, the SQ5 TDI was first shown to the world in 2012 at Le Mans just to drive home its performance origins, and at the time it was the fastest diesel-powered SUV in the world.
From the outset the SQ5 TDI was a great success Down Under. It’s combination of a beautifully appointed mid-sized SV with serious performance on tap was welcomed with open arms and after its introduction to the Australian market the SQ5 accounted for almost a third of all Q5 sales Down Under.
The stump-pulling torque of the SQ5 TDI made it a rocket ship point to point, available from right down in the rev range and seemingly on tap throughout the range, and while the second generation SQ5 with its TFSI powerplant likewise proved a hit, there were many who still yearned for that TDI urge.
Well, they’re in luck, because Audi Australia has announced that both the SQ5 TFSI ($101,136*) and SQ5 TDI ($104,900*) models will be available – one of the only Audi markets in the world to carry both engine variants. The hook for the TDI is its 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine that produces 255kW and 700Nm of torque from 2500 to 3100rpm. This gives the SQ5 TDI a 0 to 100km/h time of 5.1 seconds, while its electric powered compressor (EPC) works in conjunction with the Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG) turbocharger to extract maximum power across the full rev range, drawing power from its 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system (MHEV).
For those who like their performance but also keep an eye on efficiency, the SQ5 TDI can also be incredibly frugal, using just 6.8 litres per 100km – assisted by its 48 Volt mild-hybrid technology (MHEV) which is a new addition in this SQ5 TDI model.
The SQ5 TDI also sounds great – as did the original – the distinctive note amplified through a sound actuator in the exhaust system and controlled via Audi drive select.
The SQ5 TDI uses an eight-speed tiptronic transmission with power down to the blacktop through quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The self-locking centre differential directs 40 percent of the torque to the front axle and 60 percent to the rear in normal driving conditions, but can push as much as 85 percent of power to the rear wheels as and when required. The standard adaptive suspension with damper control is able to lower the body of the SQ5 by an additional 30 millimetres depending on desired ride dynamics, or a quattro sport differential can be optioned to provide further adjustment, directing almost all of the rear axle’s torque to either wheel during particularly dynamic driving.
Riding on 21-inch alloy wheels with their distinctive red brake callipers and with a black exterior styling package the SQ5 looks sharp yet familiar. There is a choice of four metallic and one pearlescent paint finishes are available at no cost and matrix LED headlights with dynamic indicators are standard equipment.
Likewise hands-free electric tailgate and convenience keyless entry and start are standard inclusions, along with the rear-window privacy glass and panoramic sunroof.
Riding on 21-inch alloy wheels with their distinctive red brake callipers and with a black exterior styling package the SQ5 looks sharp yet familiar
Inside it’s all luxury and state-of-the-art technology in an interior that’s a work of art
Inside it’s all luxury and state-of-the-art technology in an interior that’s a work of art. Heating and massage functions in the beautifully upholstered Nappa leather front seats are exclusive to the SQ5 TDI as are the inlays in carbon atlas.
The rear seats can be split 40:20:40, as well as sliding fore/aft to create additional legroom for longer journeys and the three-zone climate control allows passengers to regulate the temperature in the rear row.
Then there is the high-resolution MMI touch display that commands an array of ‘touch or talk’ driving, infotainment and connectivity functions as well as ambient lighting with the choice of over 30 different colour tones. Audi smartphone interface via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard equipment as is the 755W Bang & Olufsen 3D premium sound system with 19 speakers, wireless phone charging and head-up display.
In a vehicle of this calibre, safety and driver assistance systems are top shelf, with everything from Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, to exterior mirrors with auto dimming functions, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, active lane assist, rear cross-traffic assist, park assist, hill descent control, hold assist, as well as a comprehensive suite of parking sensors including the 360-degree and rear view cameras.
It’s a hell of a package, but those who first fell in love with the original SQ5 TDI will be drawn back by that 3.0-litre V6 TDI powerplant every time.
The SQ5 TDI special edition will be available in dealerships from November and is also available to order now through the new Audi online purchase platform, at audi.com.au
(*Manufacturer List Pricing [MLP] – excludes dealer delivery and government statutory charges)
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