Ingolstadt finally sends its performance crossover over to the US, but has swapped out the turbo-diesel for a supercharged V6.
Audi surprised when it went with a diesel for the SQ5 performance crossover. That was a first for an S model, but the SQ5 TDI never made it Stateside. The German automaker has, however, just announced a gasoline-powered version to debut at the Detroit Auto Show next week. Replacing the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 (with its 308 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque) in the SQ5 TDI, the SQ5 TSI packs a gasoline-burning supercharged engine of the same displacement and cylinder configuration, producing more power (349 hp) but less torque (347 lb-ft).
That makes it considerably more powerful than the Q5 3.0T that has topped the US range until now with its 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The SQ5 is also 1.2 inches lower to the ground than other versions of the Q5, has a more aggressive aero package and rides on 20- or available 21-inch wheels. Transmitting the power to the road are an eight-speed automatic transmission and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. 0-62 is quoted conservatively at 5.3 seconds, with a top speed limited (as is often the case with German automobiles) to 155 mph. That puts it in something of a niche, since Mercedes doesn't yet offer an AMG-ified GLK and BMW has no X3M.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but expect an MSRP of around $50-55,000 to be announced sometime at or after the Detroit show, where it joins the RS5 Cabriolet on Audi's show stand. Deliveries are set to commence in the third quarter of this year. In addition to North America (where the Q5 stands as Audi's most successful model line after the A4), the SQ5 TSI will be offered in various markets in Asia and South America, while the SQ5 TDI will carry on compressing oil in Europe.