Automotive

Published on November 13th, 2020 | by Joshua Chin

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Audi SQ5 TDI Launched, 340 PS V6 Diesel Sporty SUV

A diesel-powered performance Audi SUV is just the thing to forget about Dieselgate. 

In a world where every other automaker is scrambling to ditch its diesel fleet, Audi, of all people, has decided instead to plonk yet another high-powered oil burner into its Q5 mid-sized SUV, and hence created the second generation Audi SQ5 TDI. 

Arriving some 8 years since the launch of the first generation SQ5 TDI in 2012, this second generation oil-burning sporty Audi SUV supposedly continues on from where Audi’s first diesel-powered S model left of. To that end then, Audi touts the highlight of this oil-burning sporty Q5 to naturally be its diesel drivetrain. 

Under the hood of this mid-sized German performance SUV lies a revised 3.0 litre TDI V6, which makes an adequate 341 PS and an even more impressive 700 Nm of torque. Coming standard with a 48 V mild-hybrid system, an electric powered compressor and a host of other internal revisions on this power plant, Audi has touted greater low end power delivery and increased engine responsiveness across the rev range. Both of these factors thereby contributing to the 5.1 second century sprint time and the 250 km/h electronically limited top speed. 

Healthy power figures aside however, what is perhaps even more noteworthy is perhaps the claimed green credentials of this SQ5 TDI. Apparently thanks to twin-dosing technology based two SCR catalytic converters working together on the treatment of exhaust fumes, Audi has claimed that this diesel performance SUV has come in substantially below the limits of the new “Euro 6d ISC-FCM AP” emissions standard, with a dramatic reduction in NOx emissions. 

Continuing back to the rest of the drivetrain, power from the high-powered oil-burner is sent to all four wheels through an 8-speed tiptronic transmission and Audi’s legendary quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. This time featuring an integrated torque-control function, that splits the power 40:60 under normal driving conditions. An optional sport differential that supposedly considerably reduced understeer is also available to bit fitted to the rear axle of the SQ5 TDI as a cost option, for greater driving pleasure. 

Speaking of greater driving pleasure, the German automaker has also outfitted this diesel SUV with 30 mm lowered S sport adjustable air suspension and 20-inch aluminium wheels wrapped in wide 225/45 profile tires. Hiding behind those wheels meanwhile are large disk brakes that are clamped on by six-pot callipers up front. Larger 21-inch wheels from Audi Sport are an option, as is the red brake callipers. 

Other visual distinctions made to separate this sporty Audi SUV from the pack include a redesigned front bumper with larger air intakes, in addition to the octagonal Singleframe grille with honeycomb pattern that is specific to the S models. Round the back meanwhile, quad oval tailpipes are housed within an exposed rear diffuser that is finished off with a matte aluminium strip on the rear bumper. 

Being an Audi, naturally LED lights are standard both front and back, with fancier lighting options like Matrix LED headlights and OLED rear lights relegated to the options list. Naturally too for an Audi, the interior is beautifully appointed. 

In terms of tech, the SQ5 TDI features a 12.3 inch Virtual Cockpit and a 10.1 inch central touchscreen infotainment system, which runs the new MIB 3 infotainment software. Active driver aids are also not amiss on this sporty Audi, featuring turn assist, collision avoidance assist, exit warning, adaptive cruise assist and predictive efficiency assist amongst others that is already available on the normal Q5. 

This being an S model though, the Audi drive select dynamic handling system with six selectable driving modes is also present, as well as other sporty interior accents like the S logo embossed on the electrically adjustable sports seats and illuminated aluminum door sill trims bearing S logos. 

Built in Audi’s Mexican plant in San José Chiapa, this new SQ5 TDI will hit the European market early next year with a starting price of EUR 68,137.82 (RM 333,000) in Germany. No prizes for predicting that this performance diesel SUV won’t be making it to Malaysian shores any time soon. 

PRESS RELEASE: Even sharper, sportier, and more efficient: The optimized Audi SQ5 TDI now looks even more impressive. Its V6 three-liter diesel engine with an output of 251 kW (341 PS) delivers its power smoothly and forcefully. The sharper design underlines the sporty character of the sport SUV. Rear lights featuring the new digital OLED technology are available as an option for the top Q5 model.

The SQ5 TDI has a successful track record. Its first generation, which was launched in the fall of 2012, already marked the starting point for a success story – as the first Audi S model powered by a diesel engine.

In its latest extended version, the three-liter V6 boasts an output of 251 kW (341 PS) and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque. The wide engine speed range can be used continuously between 1,750 rpm and 3,250 rpm. The 3.0 TDI develops its power earlier and more forcefully than before. It accelerates the top model of the Q5 product line from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). An actuator in the exhaust system, as fitted to the first SQ5 TDI, gives the V6 a sonorous sound.

Three-liter TDI with extensive innovations – now even more powerful and efficient

Many details of the V6 3.0 TDI have been revised. The pistons are no longer made of aluminum but of forged steel- the new material reduces heat losses. Due to the higher strength, they do not incur a weight penalty compared with the aluminum pistons. A stepped recess in the piston makes combustion faster and more efficient. The solenoid injectors used to inject the fuel operate with consistently high precision thanks to a new piezo sensor that monitors the closing of the needle. They can perform up to eight injections per work cycle, with injection quantities that are scalable with even greater precision. The maximum injection pressure is 2,500 bar.

The intercooler has been changed over from an air/air cooler in the bumper to an indirect water/air cooler in the inside V of the engine. The shortened intake air paths help to build up boost pressure quickly. The indirect intercooler is more effective and can even heat the intake air shortly after the engine is started in cold ambient conditions in order to reach the ideal combustion temperatures more quickly. This offers the advantage since exhaust gas cleaning responds more quickly

The turbocharger now features a smaller and lighter compressor wheel that gets into gear with exceptional speed – a key factor in the engine’s spontaneous and high torque build-up. The exhaust manifold benefits from improved insulation. Thanks to this measure, the exhaust gas reaches the optimum temperature more quickly after a cold start.

MHEV and EPC: even greater efficiency and spontaneity

The 3.0 TDI brings two technologies that reduce consumption and improve the engine response. The 48-volt mild hybrid system (MHEV) integrates a belt alternator starter (BAS), a lithium-ion battery that provides buffer storage, and a 48/12-volt voltage converter. When the car decelerates, the MHEV system recovers up to 8 kW of power. The sport SUV can coast for up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off – after which time the powerful BAS conveniently restarts the engine. The MHEV system has the potential to reduce customer fuel consumption by up to 0.7 liters (0.2 US gal) per 100 kilometers (62.1 mi).

The second technology component is the electric powered compressor (EPC), which helps out whenever the exhaust gas flow provides too little energy to drive the turbocharger. A compact electric motor, which also uses the compact 48-volt system, accelerates the compressor wheel of the EPC to 65,000 rpm in roughly 300 milliseconds. The EPC is now used more frequently and across a broader engine map. It supports a more spontaneous engine response when the vehicle moves off as well as when accelerating from low engine speeds. The optimized interaction between the components EPC, MHEV, turbocharger, the engine itself, and the tiptronic transmission supports this effect.

Two SCR catalytic converters interact: the exhaust gas aftertreatment

For exhaust gas aftertreatment, Audi uses twin-dosing technology based two SCR catalytic converters working together. The first of these is located directly behind the manifold in the exhaust gas system, where it also functions as a particulate filter. The second is located further away from the engine under the vehicle floor. Both catalytic converters complement each other’s effects because they cover different operating situations and exhaust gas temperature windows. The SCR catalytic converters are supplied with the AdBlue urea solution from a 24-liter tank. 

Thanks to twin-dosing technology, the SQ5 TDI comes in substantially below the limits of the new “Euro 6d ISC-FCM AP” emissions standard, which also stipulates a dramatic reduction in NOx emissions in the real driving test conducted on public roads in everyday traffic situations.

Shifting gear quickly and conveniently: the eight-speed tiptronic

Power is transmitted by an eight-speed tiptronic featuring fast and convenient shifting and a gearshift strategy that has been adapted to suit the modified engine. When the SQ5 TDI is in coasting mode with the engine switched off, a clutch in the central transmission opens and interrupts the power flow.

In normal driving conditions, the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system distributes torque between the front and rear axle in a 40:60 ratio. In the event of slip, most of the drive torque goes to the axle with the better traction. Up to 70 percent can flow to the front wheels and a maximum of 85 percent to the rear wheels. During fast cornering, the wheel-selective torque control rounds off the handling with minor brake interventions at the relieved wheels on the inside of the curve.

Sport differential: more torque, no understeer, greater dynamism

On request, Audi can fit the sport differential on the rear axle, which actively controls the distribution of torque between the wheels when the driver adopts a sporty driving style. It sends more torque to the rear wheel on the outside of the curve that has better grip – literally pressing the car into the curve and reducing understeer considerably. The rear wheel on the outside of the curve also receives more torque when the car is accelerating out of tight-radius curves to further improve driving dynamics.

Supreme precision: the suspension

The suspension of the Audi SQ5 TDI is fully equipped to handle the performance of the powerful diesel drive. Five-link suspensions guide each of the four wheels. The S sport suspension with damper control lowers the body by 30 mm (1.2 in) compared with the Q5 and impresses with an exceptionally wide spread between comfort and dynamism.

Together with the optional sport differential, engine, steering and tiptronic, the controlled dampers are integrated into the Audi drive select dynamic handling system fitted as standard. The driver can use it to control the character of these systems in six profiles: auto, comfort, efficiency, dynamic, offroad, and individual. A seventh profile, allroad, is added if the optional adaptive air suspension with S-specific tuning is specified – this air suspension adjusts the ride height of the body through five levels depending on the driving situation. The dynamic steering system is another option module. It uses strain wave gearing to vary the steering ratio as a function of speed and steering angle – from direct and agile at low speeds to less direct and smooth on the freeway.

The updated Audi SQ5 TDI is fitted with 20-inch aluminum wheels with tires in the size 255/45 as standard. Alternatively, 21-inch wheels are available from Audi or Audi Sport GmbH. Six-piston aluminum brake calipers on the front axle grip discs with a diameter of 375 millimeters (14.8 in). The black calipers (red optional) sport S logos.

New accents: the exterior design

The modified Audi SQ5 TDI has a powerful stance, with striking details that give it an even more rugged appearance. Vertical fins provide structure to the large side air inlets on the front bumpers. In the octagonal Singleframe grille that is specific to the S models, large octagonal honeycomb sections are linked by narrow bars. These have an aluminum finish, as do the fins on the air inlets.

Audi includes LED headlights as standard and offers Matrix LED headlights with automatic high beam and dynamic turn signals as an option. At the rear, a matte aluminum strip is integrated in the lower bumpers, below which are the diffuser insert and four chromium-plated oval tailpipe trims. Customers have a choice of nine exterior paint finishes. The black styling package, which adds sporty accents, is available on request.

The latest lighting technology: digital OLED rear lights

Audi offers the new digital OLED technology as an option for the rear lights of the top Q5 model. The OLED rear light is split into three tiles of six segments each. When ordering their vehicle, customers can choose from three rear-light signatures, each with its own specific designs for coming and leaving home. When the Audi drive select mode “dynamic” is activated, the lights change to yet another signature. The OLED rear light also has a proximity detection function that activates all the OLED segments if a road user approaches a stationary SQ5 from the rear to within less than two meters. Dynamic turn signals round out the spectrum of digital OLED rear lights.

Sporty black and gray: the interior

The SQ5 TDI features a black or dark gray interior with illuminated aluminum door sill trims bearing S logos. The electrically adjustable sport seats featuring embossed S logos are available in a choice of three upholstery variants. A leather/ synthetic leather combination is offered as standard while a material mix of leather and Dinamica with S embossing is available as an option. The new Dinamica microfiber material consists mainly of recycled plastic and replaces Alcantara. Another optional variant is fine Nappa leather with a rhombus pattern in magma red. The seats and steering wheel are decorated with contrasting stitching. A massage function with 3 programs and seat ventilation are available on request. The inlays are brushed aluminum as standard. Available alternatives include two carbon versions as well as a piano finish.

The “plus” version of the rear seat bench can be shifted laterally and has adjustable seat back angles. The luggage compartment has a basic capacity of 520 liters (18.4 cu ft), increasing to 1,520 liters (53.7 cu ft) with the rear seat backs folded down. The electrically operated tailgate, a stainless steel loading sill protector as well as aluminum roof rails are fitted as standard. The sport SUV can pull trailers weighing up to 2.4 metric tons (5,291.09 lb) (braked, on a 12 percent incline).

Operating system, infotainment and Audi connect

The MMI touch display with a 10.1-inch diagonal, a central element of the MIB 3 modular infotainment platform, serves as a combined input and display device in the center of the instrument panel. A natural language voice control system and the multifunction steering wheel are available as additional control levels. The 12.3-inch display provides three different graphic layouts: Dynamic, Sport and Classic. Audi offers a head-up display as a further option.

If several drivers use the car, they can store their personal settings in up to six individual profiles. The Car-to-X services of Audi connect can help drivers find parking spots on the roadside. They can also warn of hazards such as slippery roads and fog on the route ahead. The myAudi app connects the car with the user’s smartphone. The Audi phone box connects smartphones with the vehicle’s antenna and can charge them inductively. The optional Bang & Olufsen 3D Premium Sound System with 3D sound provides an extraordinary sound experience. The hybrid radio, which switches automatically between FM, DAB and online streams to find the best reception, ensures that they can listen to their favorite stations wherever they have mobile data reception.

Convenient and precise: the driver assist systems

The SQ5 incorporates all of the assistance systems from the Q5. The turn assist, collision avoidance assist, and exit warning help improve safety. The adaptive cruise assist can take over accelerating, decelerating and keeping in lane for drivers over long distances. The predictive efficiency assist helps them maintain a predictive driving style with the goal of lowering fuel consumption.

The updated Audi SQ5 TDI will be built at the Mexican plant in San José Chiapa and launched on the market in Germany and other European countries during the first quarter of 2021. Its base price is EUR 68,137.82 (in Germany, including 16 percent value-added tax).

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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