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Future models - Audi - Q5 - 3.0 TDI

More potent Audi Q5 diesel on the way

Sports fan: The new SQ5 will be powered by a turbo-petrol V6 instead of a turbo-diesel V6 like the old model.

Audi says yes to a more potent 3.0 TDI diesel for Q5, but still no SQ5 oiler

Audi logo16 Apr 2017

By TIM NICHOLSON

AUDI Australia is set to introduce a beefier 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine to its imminent second-generation Q5 SUV range, but it has ruled out a return of the popular oil-burning SQ5.

The new Q5 hits dealerships in late June with a pair of 2.0-litre diesel variants, a 2.0 TFSI turbo petrol and fire-breathing 260kW SQ5 turbo-petrol V6, but a more potent diesel is all but locked in.

Speaking with journalists at a Q5 preview drive in Canberra, Audi Australia product planning manager Peter Strudwicke said the German car-maker was assessing such a variant for the local market.

“We haven’t made a decision yet but we are closely looking at a 3.0-litre six cylinder TDI as well,” he said. “If that was to come it wouldn’t be until later in the year.”

The outgoing Q5 is offered with a 190kW/580Nm 3.0-litre V6, but the all-new Q5 is available in Europe with an “intensively revised” 3.0 TDI V6 unit delivering 210kW/620Nm and paired with an eight-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission.

Mr Strudwicke said it was not the exact same 3.0 TDI engine that is fitted to the larger Audi Q7 SUV.

“No it is actually a new engine. It is related, but it is a further development of that engine,” he said.

“It has a number of additional technologies, it produces a little bit more power and it has variable valve timing both inlet and outlet. It is a really interesting engine so we are looking at it.”

Precise timing, pricing and specification are unclear, but it is likely to carry a premium over the new 2.0 TDI Quattro Sport that is priced from $70,700.

Mr Strudwicke also ruled out a V6 turbo-petrol variant that could sit above the $73,500 Q5 2.0 TFSI Quattro Sport but below the spicy SQ5 in the SUV range.

“That possibly would clutter things too much. There is not one available currently globally in the range. To get a V6 petrol you need to get the SQ5.”

The outgoing SQ5 was powered by 250kW/700Nm 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine (in ‘Plus’ guise), but the new-gen version will be petrol only.

It has been a big sales hit for the brand in Australia and at various times has been the best selling Q5 variant and the best selling Audi Sport variant in the range.

Mr Strudwicke said the company was not expecting fans of the previous SQ5 to be disappointed by the fact that there is no longer a diesel variant.

“We think that the petrol SQ5 is pretty good,” he said. “If you look at the efficiency of the engine and the performance and additional torque, we still think it will offer something previous SQ5 buyers will be very interested in.”

Audi Australia general manager of corporate communications Anna Burgdorf reiterated the benefits of the new SQ5’s powertrain and said it was the best possible engine for the model.

“Importantly for us, Audi has packaged this car (SQ5) because it is going to give the best performance with a 3.0-litre TFSI engine at the moment,” she said. “The important thing for us is not so much that we prefer a diesel in a performance model, it is that this package will be exceptional in the same way the previous generation was, it just happens to have a TFSI engine.”

While the outgoing SQ5 was priced under $100k at $92,600, the runout Plus versions lifted it to $108,900.

When asked if the new-gen SQ5 could stay below $100,000, Ms Burgdorf was coy, saying that we would “have to wait and see”.

The new SQ5 will roll into showrooms just weeks after the rest of the range in early July.

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All future models

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Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.