New Audi SQ5 TDI

Showcasing sharp, muscular style and performance, the popular Audi SQ5 boasts a head-turning, dynamic design which underlies its sporting pedigree on the road.

Available now with a recommended retail price of $134,900 (plus ORCs), the new turbo-diesel mid-size SQ5 amplifies both performance and practicality.

More than just an exterior style, the SQ5 boasts impressive sports engineering, including S sport tuned suspension, an optional sport differential for the rear axle, and a zero to 100km/h time of 5.1 seconds.

Mr. Sheed says the SQ5 was Audi’s first step into the world of performance SUVs, and its success has helped to cultivate Kiwis’ love for this type of vehicle, leading to a range that now includes SQ2, SQ7, SQ8, RS Q3, RS Q8 and even the e-tron S arriving later this year.


The SQ5’s 3.0 TDI develops its power earlier and more forcefully than before. It pushes the SQ5 from zero to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.


Many details of the engine have been revised. The pistons are no longer made of aluminium but of forged steel – the new material reduces heat loss. Due to the higher strength, they do not incur a weight penalty compared with the aluminium pistons. The intercooler has been changed 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 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, which results in exhaust gas reaching the optimum temperature more quickly after a cold start.

The 3.0 TDI features 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 SQ5 decelerates, the MHEV system recovers up to 8kW of power. The sport SUV can coast for up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off – after which time the powerful BAS restarts the engine. The MHEV system has the potential to reduce customer fuel consumption by up to 0.7-litres/100 kilometres.

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 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. A more instantaneous engine response is delivered as a result of the optimised interaction between the EPC, MHEV, turbocharger, the engine, and the tiptronic transmission.

Power is transferred to the wheels by an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox, featuring fast and convenient shifting and a gearshift pattern that has been adapted to suit the modified engine. 

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% can flow to the front wheels and a maximum of 85% 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.

The S sport suspension with damper control lowers the body by 30mm compared with the Q5 and impresses with an exceptionally widespread between comfort and dynamism. Together with the optional sport differential, engine, steering and tiptronic, the controlled dampers are integrated into the standard Audi drive select system. As a result, the driver can control the character of the vehicle in seven profiles: auto, comfort, efficiency, dynamic, off-road, all-road and individual. Air suspension adjusts the ride height of the body through five levels depending on the driving situation.


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





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 S models, large octagonal honeycomb sections are linked by narrow bars. At the rear, a matte aluminium strip is integrated in the lower bumpers, below which are the diffuser insert and four chromium-plated oval tailpipe trims.





The luggage compartment has a basic capacity of 520-litres, increasing to 1,520-litres with the rear seat backs folded down. The electrically operated tailgate, a stainless-steel loading sill protector as well as aluminium roof rails are fitted as standard, while the SQ5 can pull trailers weighing up to 2.4-tons (braked).

The updated Audi SQ5 TDI is available in New Zealand now, with pricing beginning at $134,900 (plus ORCs).

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