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Audi SQ5 to slip below $100K

Q for quick: The Audi SQ5 will be the fastest diesel-powered SUV in Australia when it arrives in May next year.

Thrifty fuel consumption helps Audi’s hot diesel SQ5 slice the price with tax break

Audi logo17 Dec 2012

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

AUSTRALIA’S fastest diesel-powered SUV will cost less than anticipated when it arrives in May next year after qualifying for luxury car tax break.

Audi’s SQ5 TDI high-performance SUV flagship – the first diesel to don the company’s S sports nomenclature – will be priced in the mid-to-high $90,000s instead of between $110,000 and $120,000 as first mooted at its unveiling in the middle of this year.

This puts the medium luxury SUV slingshot within reach of more buyers, to potentially account for up to 20 per cent of all Q5 volume Down Under.

The lower price comes courtesy of luxury car tax breaks for vehicles with a sub-7.0-litre per 100km combined fuel economy.

In this case, the SQ5 TDI’s 6.8L/100km combined fuel consumption means the 33 per cent luxury car tax only applies to the amount over $75,375, and not from $59,133.

Speaking to GoAuto at the Q5 facelift launch last week, Audi Australia product planner John Roberts said the SQ5 represented a big opportunity.

“When we first started with the car the factory, indications had it at 7.2L/100km but as we moved along they achieved 6.8L/100km, which is brilliant for us in terms of LCT,” he said.

Powered by a 230kW/650Nm 3.0-litre bi-turbo V6 TDI diesel, the SQ5 TDI can sprint to 100km/h in 5.1 seconds on the way to an artificially limited 250km/h.

The only high-performance luxury SUV diesels currently on sale or in the pipeline that come close to matching the SQ5 TDI’s outputs are BMW’s $147,500 X5 M50d and $157,500 X6 M50d models, which use triple-turbo-diesel technology, as well as the Porsche Cayenne V8 Diesel that is also due in about May 2013.

But these not only cost (or are forecast to cost) upwards of $50,000 over the price of the Audi, they are also between 0.2 and 0.6 seconds slower to 100km/h from standstill.

The upshot, according to Mr Roberts, will be a compelling performance SUV proposition that has the potential to double the sales penetration compared with the other ‘S’ lines in Audi’s passenger-car range.

“It’s a very important car for us, as our first link to the Le Mans winning turbo diesel (race cars),” he said.

“It will be the quickest SUV diesel on the market when it hits.

“We have a really unique price position with no direct competitor – and it’s in a growing market.

“The SQ5 has the potential to achieve between 10 and 20 per cent of total Q5 volume.”

Despite being one of the older medium-sized luxury SUVs in its segment, the outgoing Q5 Series 1 held the position of class bestseller fairly consistently since its early 2009 launch, but faced increasing competition over the last 12 months from the newer BMW X3 and hot Range Rover Evoque.

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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.

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All future models

Q5 pricing

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.