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Facelifted Audi SQ5 to be offered as TDI only

Petrol departure: In an almost complete reversal of the current situation, the next Audi SQ5 will be offered Down Under exclusively in diesel form.

Factory availabilities mean Audi’s facelifted SQ5 will be diesel only

11 Dec 2020

LESS than a month after its global debut, Audi Australia has revealed the facelifted SQ5 will only be offered in TDI turbo-diesel guise when it arrives here in the second quarter of next year.


Speaking to Australian media at the local press launch of the updated S4, S5 and SQ5 TDI Special Edition, Audi Australia product manager Peter Strudwicke revealed that while the current SQ5 TDI (Special Edition) was limited to just 240 units, the updated version coming next year would be the sole SQ5 variant offered Down Under.


“With the facelifted SQ5 at this stage, the offer will only be for a TDI,” he said.


“We’re always looking at what’s available in the market, but the offer we have available to us right now is the new TDI engine.”


The new TDI engine Mr Strudwicke referred to is a comprehensively upgraded version of the current SQ5 TDI’s 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 set to feature new forged steel pistons, new piezo sensors for the fuel injectors, a new water/air cooler located within the V of the engine and a smaller and lighter compressor wheel for the turbocharger.


The result of the upgrades is actually a reduction in peak power from 255kW to 251kW but broadening of the torque band with all 700Nm now available from 1750rpm.


Thanks to the wider torque band, the facelifted model will retain the current version’s 5.1-second 0-100km/h time, even if it is a few kilowatts down on its predecessor.


Until the new model arrives here, the other engine available in the SQ5 range is the familiar and widely utilised turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine good for 260kW/500Nm – the exact same engine as found in the S4 and S5 twins.


Contrary to the facelifted SQ5 announcement, the S4 and S5 will continue on in TFSI guise only with no current plans to introduce a TDI version despite such variants being available overseas.


“We will only have the petrol for the S4 and S5 and we believe that’s right for the Australian market,” Audi Australia product planning and pricing director Shawn Ticehurst said.


“But I guess with the SQ5 we’ve shown that we certainly are open to change when there’s demand for a different powerplant but at this stage S4 and S5 will be petrol.”


It has been a big year for Audi AG Down Under irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic, having launched 27 new models so far to date, one of which being the brand’s first dedicated battery-electric vehicle.


While still trailing arch-rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW on the sales charts, the brand has so far been the only premium manufacturer to see any sales growth year-on-year with the tally currently sitting at 14,132 to the end of November, marking a 2.6 per cent increase on the 13,776 units sold over the same period last year.


Of those 14,132 new deliveries, 1 in 4 were reportedly S, RS or R-badged variants, something Audi Australia managing director Paul Sansom was particularly pleased about.


“If you go back to January, we had zero RS models in production, yet today we’ve got our biggest range that we’ve ever had in Australia,” he said.


“Our S and RS performance make up around 25 per cent of our sales to date and that’s as strong as it’s ever been … testament to the way that we were able to launch those cars into the market this year.”

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