The performance diesel model Audi SQ5 TDI was the first SUV showcased by Audi.
Part of the Q5 model range, the high-performance diesel was first unveiled during the Le Mans endurance race in France and was chosen to celebrate the success that the Audi Racing Team had already established at the 24 hours race with their diesel-powered racing car.
Despite a strong reception, the dislike of diesel engines prevalent in many places in the world prevented a global market uptake of the SQ5 TDI.
A few months of market research showed Audi the benefits of a standard petrol-powered version and they moved ahead with their plans for the SQ5 sidelining the diesel engine for a more standard unleaded one. The result was the new Audi SQ5 – with a supercharged engine pushing 350 horsepower, a new chassis, some exclusive styling and impressive concave truck wheels to expand the aesthetics.
Lift the aluminium bonnet of the new Audi SQ5 and you reveal the 3.0 litre supercharged V6 TSFI engine that’s both efficient and strong. Featuring a crankshaft-driven compressor placed between ever cylinder bank and capable of spinning at velocities approaching 20,000 rpm, the 3.0 TSFI engine gives a 1.2 BAR level of boost pressure to each cylinder.
Efficiency technologies such as start/stop systems and heat management are also standard, and help provide outstanding fuel economies and emissions standards.
At its peak, the performance engine can send 354 horsepower from 6,000 to 6,500 rpm and 470 Nm of torque from 4,000 to 4,500 rpm to all four of its concave truck wheels.
Borrowing from its high-performance stablemates, the Audi SQ5 features a Quattro all-wheel drivetrain with centre differential and impressive 8-speed tiptronic transmission. Taking advantage of its advance torque vectoring, the Quattro all-wheel drive system brakes the front or rear wheels slightly in the centre of turns to improve the dynamics of its handling.
The new SQ5 comes with brand new suspension as well as its noted wheels. The chassis includes metal double-wishbone suspension at the front shaft – far lighter than the standard units and sitting 20m lower for an improved centre of gravity. Proportionally, the wheels have also increased up to 320 mm cds with six-piston callipers at the front to improve stopping power. The concave truck wheels give the vehicle a more muscular stance and sport 255/45 efficient tyres for a better grip.
Aesthetically, the exterior has become more aggressive with its limited styling bits. Front and back both wear a new bumper to enhance downforce, drag and cooling. There are some styling touches such as new badges on the fenders, new brushed-aluminium mirrors and shining chrome window surrounds.