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The diesel Audi SQ5 is back

Quick diesel Q5 borrows tech from the rather excellent SQ7

Published: 21 Feb 2019

Back in 2017 Audi assured us a diesel version of its SQ5 was coming. It had released the then-new car with a 3.0-litre V6 petrol, making it slower and somewhat less amusing than the chronically underrated diesel car it replaced.

Good news though. The company’s kept its word, and here we have the new SQ5 TDI. And it’s actually quite clever. Like the brilliant SQ7, the 5 makes use of a small 7kW electric motor to quickly spin up an electronic compressor. This delivers a pulse of air to the cylinders while the conventional turbo is spooling up, all but eliminating lag.

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The compressor itself draws power from a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which Audi’s appropriated from the A6, A7 and A8. The result is 342bhp and 516lb ft of torque from the 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine – 7bhp more and the same amount of torque as the old twin-turbo SQ5 Plus, and 7bhp less/147lb ft more than the existing petrol SQ5. 0-62mph takes 5.1 seconds, and the top speed is pegged at 155mph.

And of course all the mild-hybrid stuff is said to improve efficiency – Audi says the SQ5 TDI can recuperate 12kW of energy during braking, which is sent to batteries and then used to power the car’s electrical systems. It can also coast with the engine off between 34 and 99mph. The result is between 32.5 and 34.4mpg, and 172 – 177g/km of CO2.

Everything else is pretty much as per the petrol SQ5. That means some schporty styling, including chunky bumpers and big wheels (and awful fake exhausts), an eight-speed torque-converter auto ‘box and Quattro all-wheel drive that can send as much as 85 per cent of the power rearwards. A diff that gives torque vectoring across the rear-axle is optional.

We’ll review it in the spring. In the meantime, read our review of the petrol SQ5 here.

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