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Facelifted Audi SQ5 TDI here Q2, 2021

Audi’s new SQ5 TDI loses a few kW but improves on low-end shove

13 Nov 2020

TWO months after relaunching the diesel-powered SQ5 TDI exclusively in Special Edition guise, Audi AG has started detailing the facelifted full-time version, with the angry oil-burner due to touch down locally in the second quarter of 2021.


Save for the inevitable styling changes brought about by a model refresh – the front fascia has been made more aggressive and purposeful, more below – the big news concerning the new SQ5 TDI is its reduced peak power, with the kilowatt count down from 255 to 251, however torque remains steady at 700Nm.


While peak power may now be slightly less than before, the 700Nm of torque generated by its turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine is now available lower down in the rev range (1750rpm vs 2500rpm) courtesy of a number of mechanical revisions.


The V6’s pistons are now made from forged steel rather than aluminium for increased strength while a new stepped recess facilitates faster and more efficient combustion within the cylinders.


Other tweaks include new piezo sensors for the fuel injectors and a new water/air cooler located within the V of the engine (to help reduce turbo lag), while the blower itself has scored smaller and lighter compressor wheel.


All of these revisions help the SQ5 TDI retain its 5.1-second dash from 0-100km/h while the 48V mild-hybrid system helps to peg combined fuel consumption at 7.0 litres per 100km.


As before, drive is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed ‘tiptronic’ automatic transmission which has been remapped and tailored to suit the new engine modifications.


Just like other Audi S and RS models, the SQ5 TDI’s quattro all-wheel-drive system operates with a 40:60 front-rear bias in normal driving conditions with up to 70 per cent of the torque able to be sent to the front wheels and up to 85 per cent to the rear when a loss of grip is detected.


The SQ5 TDI rides 30mm lower than the standard Q5 models through its five-link set-up all round, with the damping able to be adjusted via the Audi drive select system – auto, comfort, efficiency, dynamic, off-road, and individual – which also alters the characteristics of the engine, steering and transmission.


A seventh ‘allroad’ mode is added when the optional air suspension is fitted.


Visually, the new SQ5 TDI follows the example of the other recently facelifted S and RS models in being more aggressive thanks to the new octagonal Singleframe grille and finned air intakes, all finished in black honeycomb mesh.


At the rear there is a new matte aluminium bumper insert, below which lays a chunky diffuser and quad-oval exhaust tips.


Rolling stock is taken care of by 20-inch alloys from behind which peek black six-pot (front) brake callipers acting on 375mm discs.


While the local pricing and specification is yet to be detailed, standard kit on the SQ5 TDI includes LED headlights, illuminated aluminium door sill trims, power adjustable sports seats, electrically operated tailgate, stainless steel loading sill protector, aluminium roof rails, 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen, 12.3-inch instrument cluster and Audi connect.


Global safety features meanwhile mirror that of the standard Q5s with highlights including turn assist, collision avoidance assist, exit warning and adaptive cruise assist.


Not forgetting its SUV roots, the SQ5 TDI can swallow 520 litres of cargo with the rear seats in place, a figure which expands to 1520L with the seats folded flat.


Audi Australia has shifted 2393 new Q5s so far this year ending October, accounting for 10.9 per cent of the $60,0000-plus medium SUV segment.

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