Actually, one executive described the Audi as "rubbish."
Automaker executives love nothing more than competition. It drives both egos and adrenaline. Typically, this is friendly competition as automakers always attempt to outdo one another. This is especially the case with German luxury brands, specifically Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. But every now and then we hear about an automaker executive going perhaps a little too far criticizing a competitor. All in good fun, right? Probably.
Australia’s CarSales.com.au was on hand at a press event for the launch of the new Alpina B5 Touring, an awesome 608 horsepower wagon based on the BMW 5 Series America sadly won’t get (it also has a top speed of 205 mph, to pour additional salt on the wound), and Alpina product chief Thomas Cornu had some choice words for the about the also new Audi SQ5.
"The previous model [SQ5] was a TDI [turbo-diesel] in Australia. It worked very well, and in Europe too; it was a big success. It was [a success] everywhere,” he said. "They started to produce a new SQ5 with a TFSI [direct-injected, turbocharged petrol] engine – and it was rubbish.” Oh, and he didn’t end there. "Really, it's not a good car, and the press was not good, and the car is not selling well – especially in Australia. It's very low [sales] numbers, and that's why... in Europe and Australia they are bringing the SQ5 TDI back again in 2020.”
It’s not often for an auto exec to be that blunt. Hopefully, here in America we'll be getting that 600-hp Alpina-modified BMW X7 sometime soon.
Unfortunately, here in the US we won’t get a chance to drive either the SQ5 TDI or Alpina’s response, the XD3, which is based on the BMW X3. The XD3, also pictured here, is powered by a six-cylinder diesel with 329 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The new SQ5 TDI, meanwhile, has 347 hp and 516 lb-ft as well. As for the SQ5 TFSI, it has 354 hp and a lot less torque, 368 lb-ft. Alpina and Audi’s S vehicles have been rivals for years in the world of performance-enhanced BMWs and Audis and judging by Cornu’s words, this rivalry is fiercer than ever.