Not wanting to be seen to be lagging in the performance of their diesel engines after BMW launched their M Performance range, especially as five times winners of Le Mans with their R10 and R15 TDI racing cars, Audi has announced the SQ5 TDI compact SUV just hours before the start of the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Audi SQ5 is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine that develops 230 kW and 650 Nm of torque. Drive is sent to the wheels via Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system and an 8-speed transmission. The extra muscle sees the SQ5 accelerate from 0 – 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds, hit a top speed of 250 km/h and average 7.2 L/100km. In comparison, the SQ5 is nearly a full second quicker to 100 km/h than the 200 kW supercharged petrol V6 in the regular Q5 line-up and just 0.2 seconds shy of the 245 kW petrol-powered S5 coupé.
Apart from the more powerful diesel engine, the Audi SQ5 can be distinguished by its S-design elements, including new bumpers, a revised grille and a tailgate-mounted spoiler. There’s also a 30 mm lower sport-tuned suspension, faux-aluminum mirror caps and 20-inch alloy wheels. Inside, plenty of S-badging adorns the cabin the features sports seats with leather upholstery, brushed aluminum inlays, S-badged instruments with gray dials and white needles, as well as aluminum-look pedals and shift paddles.
The SQ5 will go on sale in European markets in the first quarter of 2013.