Supercharged Crossover Time!
At the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi introduced the SQ5 TDI, a performance diesel crossover to celebrate the success of the automaker’s racing program that utilizes advanced diesel technology. And while that was fantastic if you live in Europe and have quite a bit of cash to burn, the rest of the world was left without the ability to enjoy the new diesel. To satisfy this craving for a performance crossover, Ingolstadt has created the new Audi SQ5 with a supercharged gasoline engine specifically for the North American and Chinese markets.
This is one car that the United States is finally getting instead of being left to admire from across the pond because of its gasoline engine. Beneath the hood of the Audi SQ5 is a 3.0-liter V-6 with a crankshaft-driven supercharger that sits between the cylinder banks. The supercharger supplies the engine with 0.8 BAR (11.6 PSI) of boost pressure while its two rotors spin at 20,000 RPMs and utilize two intercoolers to help reduce air temperature. Forced induction helps the 3.0 TFSI engine produce 354 horsepower from 6,000 to 6,500 RPM and 347 lb-ft. of torque from 4,000 to 4,500 RPM while returning an average of 21 US mpg. This also enables the Audi SQ5 to be the fastest model in its class as it reaches 62 mph in just 5.3 seconds and reach an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.
Although that’s a mere 0.2 seconds slower than its oil burning European sibling, the chassis and drivetrain are still every bit as exciting. An eight-speed Tiptonic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive with standard torque vectoring ensure that the drive is dynamic and responsive. The chassis features new, stiffer shocks and springs, and a 30 mm lower ride height for a better center of gravity and precise handling. New 20-inch wheels with 255/45 tires come standard with brake calipers sporting an “SQ5” badge at the front axle while bigger 21-inch wheels can be installed as an option.
The Audi SQ5 visually separates itself from the standard Q5 model lineup with more aggressive bodywork. The front grille features horizontal double bars in aluminum look finish and a platinum grey color that mimic the design of each set of LED daytime running lights. A rear roof spoiler helps to generate a bit of downforce at high speeds while more aggressive bumpers are worn at the front and rear. Each side wears new “V6T” badges on the fenders and a gloss package with aluminum side mirrors creates an exclusive appearance. Audi will offer customers the choice of model-specific Estoril Blue or Panther Black crystal-effect paint colors.
The interior is also going to receive that extra special touch with exclusive refinements. The entire interior including the power-adjustable sport seats wears black Pearl Nappa leather and alcantara, while the headliner can be optioned with a Moon Silver color. Aluminum-look pedals and grey dials with white indicators give the driver a unique display even at rest. Customers will be able to choose from an array of Carbon Atlas, Piano finish or layered aluminum and wood in Beaufort black trims as well as four different leather colors.
The Audi SQ5 will be available in the United States in the third quarter of 2013. The performance crossover was made specifically for the United States, Canada, Russia, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Ukraine markets. In Germany, the SQ5 TDI will be available in place of the gasoline variant.
Audi SQ5 Specifications
Displacement: 3.0 liters (2,995 cc)
Number of Cylinders: V-6
Aspiration: Crankshaft-driven, twin-rotor supercharger
Maximum Boost Pressure: 0.8 BAR (11.6 PSI)
Maximum Horsepower: 354/260 kW from 6,000 to 6,500 RPM
Maximum Torque: 346.65 lb-ft./470 Nm from 4,000 to 4,500 RPM
Type: Eight-speed Tiptronic
Drive: Quattro all-wheel with torque vectoring
Acceleration 0-62 mph: 5.3 seconds
Top Speed: Electronically limited to 155 mph (250 km/h)
Audi SQ5 Gallery