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Audi confirms new SQ5 Sportback TDI flagship

Audi’s SQ5 is headed here next year in both wagon and Sportback forms

27 Nov 2020

AUDI AG has confirmed the existence and imminent market arrival of the SQ5 Sportback TDI, a vehicle that will sit firmly atop the Q5 range, at least until the possible emergence of the yet-to-be-confirmed RS Q5.


Due to arrive in Australia in the second half of 2021 along with the rest of the Q5 Sportback range, the exact specification and pricing of the new flagship is yet to be announced however we do know it will be powered by the same 251kW/700Nm turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine as the wagon.


The new model actually produces slightly less power than its predecessor (255kW vs 251kW) but its 700Nm of torque has been made available lower in the rev range thanks to a series of engine modifications designed to make the performance more accessible.


Such modifications include new forged steel pistons (rather than aluminium) for increased strength while a new stepped recess allows for faster and more efficient combustion within the cylinders.


Other tweaks include new piezo sensors for the fuel injectors and a new water/air cooler located within the V of the engine (to help reduce turbo lag), while the turbocharger itself has scored a smaller and lighter compressor wheel.


Drive as ever is sent to all four wheels using Audi’s proprietary quattro all-wheel-drive system while an eight-speed ‘tiptronic’ automatic transmission takes care of gear shifting duties.


Given all the similarities with the wagon, it come as no surprise to find the Sportback shares the same 5.1-second 0-100km/h time and will push on to the same 250km/h electronically limited top speed.


Decent fuel economy is ensured by the addition of a 48V mild hybrid system which can allow the SQ5 TDI to coast with the engine off for up to 40 seconds at a time.


The flipside of this is it can also mitigate turbo lag thanks to the ‘electric powered compressor’ which helps spool the turbo up at low engine speeds.


Just like the wagon, the new Sportback features updated styling front and rear with the overall look made to appear more menacing and aggressive, combining nicely with its swooping roofline which not only looks sportier but also helps to reduce its drag coefficient.


It does however rob the Sportback of 40 litres worth of cargo space with boot space rated at 510L, a figure that can expand to 1480L with the rear seats folded flat.


Under the skin the SQ5 Sportback TDI rides on the same multi-link sports suspension set-up as the wagon with adaptive damping, however it remains to be seen if it will follow the trend set by its standard stablemates in being stiffer than the wagon.


Regardless, the ride height has been reduced by 30mm compared to the standard versions.


Rolling stock is taken care of by 20-inch alloys shod with 255/45 tyres as standard – 21-inch units will be available while stopping duties are handled by black six-pot (front) brake callipers acting on 375mm discs.


While local specifications are yet to be detailed, it would be safe to assume the Sportback’s standard equipment will mostly mirror that of the wagon, which at this stage includes LED headlights, illuminated aluminium door sill trims, power adjustable sports seats, electrically operated tailgate, stainless steel loading sill protector, aluminium roof rails, 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen, 12.3-inch instrument cluster and Audi connect.


Audi Australia has shifted 2393 new Q5s so far this year ending October, accounting for 10.9 per cent of the $60,0000-plus medium SUV segment.

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