The Audi SQ5 TDI, the German manufacturer's first S-branded SUV and first S-branded diesel, has been confirmed for Australia.
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First revealed at the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hour race in June, Audi Australia's Shaun Cleary confirmed to CarAdvice that the Audi SQ5 TDI, powered by a 230kW/650Nm twin-turbocharged direct fuel injection 3.0-litre V6 diesel, will arrive in local showrooms around April next year.

Audi SQ5 TDI - 2

The new SUV will sit atop the Audi Q5 range, knocking off the current $75,500 top-spec Audi Q5 3.0 TDI quattro.

The Audi SQ5 TDI will be the fastest production diesel SUV available in Australia, storming from 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds, towards a top speed of 250km/h. In combined conditions, it is claimed to return 7.2L/100km.

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The four-ringed German pips the size-larger, triple-turbo-diesel $114,853 BMW X5 M50d and $121,846 BMW X6 M50d that need 5.4 and 5.3 seconds respectively to reach 100km/h. The SQ5 is also more than a second quicker than the current range-topper, the 6.5sec Q5 3.0TDI, which competes with the BMW X3 30d (6.2sec) and the not-for-Oz Mercedes-Benz GLK 350 CDI (6.4sec).

Neither rival company currently offers a high-power mid-sized SUV to compete with the SQ5. BMW Australia product communications manager Scott Croaker told CarAdvice that while there are no plans at this stage for a direct competitor for the SQ5, future M-division or M Performance model variants are being looked at.

“Sure, the SQ5’s figure [0-100km/h] certainly raises eyebrows, but it’s not about just that stat for us.”

Croaker said that for BMW a 0-100km/h time is “not the sum of the ultimate driving machine”.

Ensuring there will be no mistaking the new S model once it hits the streets, the SQ5 sits squat on 30mm lowered sports suspension, and wears 20-inch wheels standard (with 21-inch wheels optional), quad exhaust pipes and SQ5 logos and badges throughout.

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While Cleary said the Audi SQ5 TDI will be available “exclusively with the new 3.0 TDI bi-turbo diesel engine,” rumours have arisen on the back of a leaked image suggesting a more powerful supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine – as used in the Audi S4 and S5 which share the SQ5’s platform – could be added to the engine line-up.

Audi SQ5 supercharged 3.0 V6 Petrol

While the 3.0 TFSI engine currently produces 245kW and 440Nm, the Volkswagen Group ETKA (electronic parts catalogue) image references a figure of 260kW, which would provide the Audi SQ5 with even more poke.

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Full Audi SQ5 TDI pricing and specifications are yet to be announced, but expect a premium over the Q5 in line with other S-badged models, meaning over the $100,000 mark.

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