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Detroit show: Audi pumps up blown V6 for SQ5

Power plus: Audi has equipped its new petrol-powered SQ5 with a more powerful 260kW version of the German company’s supercharged 3.0-litre TFSI V6.

Petrol Audi SQ5 gets more grunt out of supercharged 3.0-litre V6 than S5 and S4

Audi logo9 Jan 2013

By RON HAMMERTON

A NEW petrol-powered version of Audi’s SQ5 super SUV – scheduled for a Detroit motor show launch next week – is not destined for Australia, but don’t be surprised if the engine turns up here at some point.

The beefed up supercharged direct-injected 3.0-litre V6 in the new left-hand-drive-only SQ5 TFSI packs 260kW of power and 470Nm of torque – 15kW and 30Nm more than the version currently employed in the silky S5 coupe and S4 sedan.

Audi Australia is tight-lipped on the chances of the up-rated engine replacing the 245kW/440Nm unit in S5, S4 or any other Audi model in this market any time soon, but has not ruled it out, either.

In the petrol SQ5, the revised V6 propels the hottest version of Audi’s recently facelifted mid-sized Q5 SUV from zero to 100km/h in 5.3 seconds – 0.4 seconds slower than the lighter and more aerodynamic S5.

The SQ5 TFSI is aimed squarely at markets that favour petrol motivation, such as the United States, China and Japan, with the diesel SQ5 carrying the flag in Europe and Australia.

Here, the SQ5 TDI will land in showrooms the second quarter of this year, likely priced just under $100,000 – a premium of up to $25,000 over the current Q5 TDI flagship.

Unusually, the 230kW bi-turbo 3.0-litre V6 SQ5 TDI is faster in the 0-100km/h sprint than the petrol version.

Based on figures released for the latter overnight, the oil-burner stops the clocks at 5.1 seconds – a couple of tenths quicker than the supercharged petrol model.

The extra oomph comes courtesy of 650Nm of torque – 180Nm more than the petrol V6 – that more than makes up for a 20kW shortfall in power.

Naturally, the diesel is also more efficient than the petrol SQ5, consuming 6.8 litres per 100km of fuel compared with 8.5L/100km for the petrol.

The low fuel consumption figure for the SQ5 TDI is the key to its projected sharp pricing in Australia where it will benefit from luxury car tax breaks for vehicles with combined fuel-economy under 7.0L/100km.

The SQ5 comes equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission – one more ratio than the S5’s seven speeder.

Compared with the standard Q5, the SQ5 is lowered by 30mm and sits on a sports suspension and 20-inch alloy wheels.

The SQ5 TDI is just one of several new models on the launching pad for Audi in Australia this year, with the mass-selling A3 Sportback and its S3 hot flagship topping the list of new entrants.

Others on the list are revised A6 and A7 TDI models, along with a pair of fresh RS4 models – Avant and Cabriolet – and the stonking RS6 Avant.

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