The 2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback has been officially unveiled in Europe.
While not unveiled today, it's likely a petrol-powered TFSI version of the Audi SQ5 Sportback will follow at a later date, sharing its 250kW/500Nm turbo V6 with the 'standard' SQ5 TFSI, targeted at the North American market.
Powering the SQ5 Sportback is the same 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 diesel engine as its 'wagon' bodied sibling, producing 251kW of power and 700Nm of torque (from 1750-3250rpm).
Helping the mill meet stringent European 'Euro-6d' emissions regulations is a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which can recover up to 8kW of power under deceleration, coast for up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off thanks to a belt-driven starter-alternator, and an electric compressor that spools up the turbocharger at low speeds when exhaust gases are insufficient.
Other efficiency-oriented tweaks made to the engine over previous iterations include solenoid valve injectors, a lighter turbocharger compressor wheel, a water-to-air design for the intercooler and emissions-reducing twin-dosing technology, with dual SCR catalytic converters.
The engine now also scores forged steel pistons, which reduce heat losses while not incurring a weight penalty compared to existing aluminium pistons.
Drive is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission and Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Audi claims a 5.1-second dash from zero to 100km/h, towards a 250km/h electronically-limited top speed – identical figures to the SQ5 'wagon'.
A torque-vectoring 'sport' rear differential can be had as an option, which sends greater percentages of the engine's torque to the outside wheel in tight bends to improve traction out of the corner.
The SQ5 comes with 30mm-lower, multi-link S sport suspension with adaptive dampers are fitted as standard, with adaptive air suspension available as an option.
Opting for air suspension adds a seventh Allroad profile to the SQ5 Sportback's six standard drive modes – Auto, Comfort, Efficiency, Dynamic, Off-Road and Individual – with each mode varying the car's engine and gearbox response, steering weight, damper firmness and, if optioned, the behaviour of the sport rear differential.
Variable sports steering can also be optioned.
Filling the arches as standard are 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 255/45 tyres, while 21-inch units are optional. Hiding behind the alloys are 375mm front brakes clamped by six-piston aluminium calipers.
Differentiating the SQ5 Sportback from its standard, S Line appearance package-equipped counterparts include a honeycomb front grille pattern, revised outer front air intakes, reshaped rear bumper, quad exhaust tips and the necessary 'SQ5' badging. The standard car's matrix LED headlights and OLED tail-lights can be optioned.
Inside, SQ5-specific features include electrically-adjustable sports seats with embossed S logos – trimmed in synthetic leather, Dinamica suede/leather combination, or nappa leather upholstery – plus contrast stitching for the seats and flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Above: the regular Audi Q5 Sportback's cabin, as no images of the SQ5 Sportback's interior have been released.
Brushed aluminium trim inlays are standard-fit, with carbon-fibre-look or piano black finishes available as an option.
The 2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback TDI is available to order now in Europe, and will be produced at the four-ring brand's plant in Mexico.
When will the 2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback TDI come to Australia?
The 2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback TDI will launch in Australia in the second half of 2021, alongside its standard Q5 sibling.