To build or not to build?
To date, there has never been an Audi RS Q5. If you want the most powerful Audi Q5 available, look no further than the SQ5, which is powered by the excellent 3.0-liter TFSI V6 rated at 349 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The base Q5 has a decent but not thrilling 2.0-liter TFSI with 252 hp and 273 lb-ft. Given that Audi is fully capable of building an even more powerful Q5 variant, specifically an RS Q5, the question is whether or not it'll ever happen. One thing is for certain: it hasn't been ruled out.
Speaking to Autocar, Q5 program project manager Michaela Benz confirmed that, for now, the German automaker is holding off on an all-powerful RS Q5 for the time being.
"We're happy that our RS models are receiving such a good reception," she said, "but we will start with the normal SQ5 TDI and TFSI in their respective markets and see what comes."
The SQ5 TDI is an overseas-only oil burner powered by a V6 with 282 hp and 457 lb-ft. Unfortunately, we're unable to get a precise SQ5 yearly sales breakdown in the US because Audi combines it with the regular Q5. But what we do know is that, in general, Audi's RS-branded models continue to sell very well globally. At present, there are seven RS vehicles in the US lineup, not including the R8. However, the RS Q8 is the only SUV.
The Audi RS Q3, meanwhile, isn't sold in our neck of the woods because, as a company spokesperson told CarBuzz earlier this year "the market for a subcompact high-performance SUV is simply too limited in the US." The Q5 is classified as a compact and though it's clearly bigger than the Q3, Audi's reasoning is understandable.
Still, one of the Q5's main rivals is the BMW X3 and the X3 M is a strong seller as well. It's also a lot more powerful than the SQ5 with as much as 503 hp and 443 lb-ft on tap in Competition spec. It'd be great if Audi joined the ultra-powerful compact SUV segment action.