Audi Australia has introduced its second-generation SQ5, but the performance-focused mid-size SUV has eschewed its predecessor's thumping diesel engine for petrol power.
Priced from $99,611 before on-road costs, the SQ5 now employs a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 unit that punches out 260kW of power between 5400-6400rpm and 500Nm of torque from 1370rpm-4500rpm.
Comparatively, the oil-burning first-gen produced 250kW between 4100-4300rpm and 700Nm from 1500-2550rpm in its final SQ5 Plus form thanks to a twin-turbo set-up.
This change from diesel to petrol has also affected performance and efficiency, with the new SQ5 completing the sprint from zero to 100km/h in 5.4 seconds, which lags behind the former model's 5.1s run.
The lastest-gen SQ5 drinks 8.7 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle test and emits 200 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre.
Meanwhile, the old version was more efficient with its 6.8L/100km fuel consumption and 180g/km CO2 emissions figures.
However, the SQ5 has lost a significant 130kg over its forebear, weighing in at 1870kg after a diet of lightweight materials throughout the all-new powerplant and body.
An eight-speed automatic transmission carries over, while power is put down to the ground via the German car-maker's 'quattro' all-wheel-drive system, which offers a 40/60 front/rear torque split with up to 85 per cent sent to either end if slip occurs.
Complementing the newly developed five-link front and rear suspensions, adaptive dampers are adjustable via a multi-mode 'drive select' system, which also allows to the driver to modify engine, transmission and steering settings.
Buyers are compensated for the extra $6656 cost over the outgoing model with the addition of several features that Audi claims add around $16,000 worth of value.
Audi is believed to be considering the introduction of a potent diesel-powered SQ5 down the track.
Standard equipment extends to an 8.3-inch 'MMI' multimedia system, satellite navigation with live traffic, voice control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto support, LTE connectivity, 12.3-inch 'virtual cockpit' digital instrument cluster, Nappa leather sports seats, hands-free electric tailgate, privacy glass and adaptive LED headlights with dynamic rear indicators.
The exterior look is completed by 21-inch alloy wheels, which sit in front of 350mm ventilated front discs with six-piston callipers finished in red and 330mm rear rotors.
A suite of safety and driver assistance features includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB), pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, cross traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, surround-view and reversing cameras, park assist, high-beam assist and adaptive cruise control with stop/go function.
The SQ5 will face stiff local competition from the 270kW/520Nm Mercedes-AMG GLC43 and 250kW/450Nm Jaguar F-Pace S, as well as the forthcoming 265kW/500Nm BMW X3 M40i.
Audi is believed to be considering the introduction of a potent diesel-powered SQ5 down the track, but it is yet to be locked in for Australia.
The entire Audi Q5 range, including the hi-po SQ5, is now on sale nationally at authorised dealerships.
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