Audi SQ5 (2012) first official picturesMon, 18 Jun 2012
The first of Audi's sporty production SUVs has arrived, in the shape of the 309bhp diesel-powered SQ5.
It's the first S-badged Audi to feature an oil-burner plumbed in behind its prodigious front grille, though Audi is confident it's still every bit as worthy of the badge as its petrol-sipping brethren.
The 3.0 TDI twin-turbo V6 produces 309bhp and 479lb ft from 1450 to 2800rpm, which Audi claims is sufficient thrust to power the SQ5 in 62mph in a Porsche Boxster-bating 5.1 seconds.
Complicit in that urge is the Quattro all-wheel-drive system, and quick-shifting eight speed Tiptronic auto gearbox. Top speed has to be restrained by the familiar 155mph electronic limiter. Despite the diesel motor, Audi has worked to give the SQ5 a suitably enhanced engine note, via a tuned sound actuator in the exhaust.
The SQ5 is substantially more frugal that any S-model Audi that's gone before though - Audi claims a potential 39mpg.
Familiar S-model cues adorn the body, such as flared air intakes, silver exterior mirrors, painted brake callipers, and quad exhausts. The car itself rides 30mm lower thanks to a sports suspension drop, atop 20-inch standard (or optional 21-inch) alloy wheels.
Interior upgrades come in the shape of S-badging on the dials, seats and sills, aluminium-look pedals and gearshift paddles, and optional carbon trip for the centre console. Power-adusted sports seats are standard, with a range of leather colours and finishes to choose from.When can I buy an Audi SQ5?
After its first public unveiling at Audi's victorious 2012 Le Mans weekend, the SQ5 will be available for UK order in October 2012, priced from around £45,000.
BMW's similarly powerful rival, the X3 xDrive 35d M Sport, weighs in at £42,530 - which incidentally also offers a superior claimed 46.3mpg.
By Ollie Kew