Wednesday, 28 November 2012 10:18 AM
A thumping turbodiesel engine with deep wells of early torque suit SUVs more and more the bigger that tall and wide SUV body gets. Audi’s mid-size SUV, the Q5, now benefits from what sounds like a perfect SUV motor. It’s a 3-litre, V6 twin-turbo and along with its 310bhp and 650Nm of torque, it also brings an ‘S’ badge to the Q5. The SQ5 is ready order now – priced from £43,870 – with deliveries expected in spring 2013.
It certainly sounds like Audi have gotten pretty serious with this ‘sports-diesel’ Q5, with an all-new engine – with the big torque coming very early (650Nm from just 1,450rpm) in the revs, fully sports tuned suspension and braking, as well as a firm eye on economy. So, 62mph in 5.1 seconds, a limited 155mph top speed, and a combined economy of 41.5mpg sure sound good. CO2? A respectable 179g/km.
The new V6 motor – powering an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive – enjoys an impressively modern technical specification. Two turbochargers, cylinder head cooling, high performance camshafts and even a sound actuator in the exhaust to mask some diesel gruffness. This diesel means business.
The SQ5 sits some 30mm lower than the standard Q5 on ‘S’ sports suspension and 20-inch five parallel spoke alloy wheels, and gets plenty of options for driving style tuning just like many of Audi’s other sporting models.
Audi drive select system offers a choice of Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Efficiency modes – a fifth Individual mode allowing an even greater degree of customisation is also available if optional HDD satellite navigation is also installed. These modes influence the weighting of the electromechanical power steering, the transmission shift points, the throttle response and the exhaust sound actuator, but they can also vary the ratio of the steering and the operating characteristics of the suspension if the additional dynamic steering and damper control options are ordered.
Inside we see a predominantly black interior, but a lunar silver headlining and a variety of insert colours for the seats can be specified as options. The electrically-adjustable sports seats are upholstered in Fine Nappa leather as standard, with matt brushed aluminium inlays.
Other SQ5 standard equipment includes a 180-watt Audi sound system accessed via a Concert radio with 6.5-inch colour monitor and MMI operation, a Bluetooth interface, cruise control, three-zone climate control, light and rain sensors and acoustic rear parking sensors. From the options list, one can add goodies like a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system and a so-called Technology Package which combines hard disc-based satellite navigation with Audi Music Interface iPod connection and the Audi Parking System Plus. Audi connect, which creates a Wi-Fi hotspot in the car, is also available.
By Daniel Anslow