The Audi SQ5 TDI, the German manufacturer's first S-branded SUV and first S-branded diesel, has been confirmed for Australia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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