Audi's 230kW monster diesel SUV
NEW BREED OF AUDI S: South African’s may have to wait awhile to get their hands on the new Audi SQ5 TDI (priced in the UK at R584 000) as it will only be available to order in Europe in October to go on sale April 2013.
Audi has flexed its TDI muscle with the debut of the first of a new breed S models at the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit. The new SQ5 appeared at the June 17 2012 endurance race alongside diesel R18 prototypes.
The new SUV is the first TDI-powered S in the German automaker's history and its three-litre BiTDI engine is capable of 230kW and 650Nm - the latter from 1450 to 2800rpm.
The engine turns an eight-speed tiptronic auto which, with Audi's all-wheel-drive, enables the SQ5 to rocket from 0-100km in 5.1 seconds and on to a governed top speed of 250km/h.
FRUGAL PERFORMANCE SUV
With the aid of thermal management, a start/stop engine system and a regulated oil pump, economy remains firmly in TDI territory with a claimed 7.2 litres/100km (combined cycle).
The new model's sport suspension lowers the body by 30mm from that of the standard Q5 and it rides on 20" rims and 255/45 tyres, inside which assemblies are black brake callipers with S badging. Optional 21"-rims and Audi's drive select system are options.
In terms of design, the new model has a grey single-frame grille finished in aluminium, modified bumpers and a roof-mounted spoiler. The external mirrors are finished in gloss aluminium and the SQ5 will be available in unique blue or black paint jobs.
The interior is finished in Audi's typical S model black though the SQ5 can be ordered in a silver theme. Standard kit includes power sport seats, leather and aluminium inlays.
The instrument dials are grey and include a 3D S badge. Speedometre needles are white and the pedals and shift paddles have an aluminium finish.
Additional S treatment continues on the gear lever knob, sills, start button and the specially shaped steering wheel.
Interior extras include Audi’s infotainment systems.
Despite being built for performance, the new model has a claimed luggage capacity of 1560 litres and a towing capacity rated at up to 2.4 tons.
MORE FROM AUDI
In 2011 the German automaker recorded its best sales year yet with a global figure of 1.3-million models totaling a 19% increase over 2010. To maintain its Vorsprung durch Technik slogan, the brand plans to invest R136-billion between 2011 and 2015. Audi hopes to increase its current 39 models to 42 with recent additions such as the A1 Sportback, A3, A4 and Q3 ranges. New models set to be launched include the SQ5 TDI, RS4 Avant, A6 allroad and the R8 e-tron.