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The Audi SQ5 now comes with petrol power

But new 354bhp, S5-engined SUV will also get a diesel option. As will other S cars...

The gigantic Q8 isn’t all Audi’s brought to this year’s Detroit Motor Show. This is the SQ5, the fast version of its mid-size Q5 SUV. 

Like the S4 and S5, the SQ5 has the 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 with 354bhp and 369lb ft. That’s actually less torque than the outgoing SQ5 Plus, which in the UK is only available with a biturbo V6 diesel with a whopping 516lb ft. Power is up, but only by 14bhp. This means the new, petrol-powered SQ5 is some 0.3 seconds slower to 62mph than the diesel (5.4 plays 5.1).

Those unduly concerned with such matters should rest assured a diesel version will follow, though. Audi board member Dr Dietmar Voggenreiter has confirmed to Top Gear that both petrol and diesel versions will be offered, the petrol launching first to please the SQ5’s doubtless large US and Chinese audiences.

“This was a very simple decision,” he tells us. “The last time we started with diesel, and this time we start with the petrol, which is more worldwide market focused. But there will still be a diesel. As Europeans we love the SQ5 as a TDI version.”

He also confirmed that the offer of both petrol and diesel versions will spread to other Audi S models, but wouldn’t commit to which. Expect the S4 and S5 to be no-brainers, especially given this SQ5 runs the same petrol powertrain.

Back to the SQ5, it gets new steering and adaptive damping, while a sport differential (that actively distributes torque between the rear wheels) and S-specific adaptive air suspension are optional. It’s also lighter.

There is some SQ5-specific styling going on, but so little you won’t be able to tell it apart from a diesel S-Line. Inside you get sports seats and loads of embossed logos. SQ5s get 20s, privacy glass and LED headlights as standard, too. 

Should be available to order at the end of this month, ahead of first deliveries this summer. No word on price, but the current car is £52,300. Expect similar.

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