The SQ5 is the first diesel Audi to be developed into an ‘S’ sport line version. It carries a 230kW/650Nm 3.0-litre V6 bi-turbo engine that the German carmaker says will get the SQ5 to 100km/h in a very respectable 5.1 seconds and to a top speed (governed) of 250km/h.
An eight-speed automatic transmission delivers the effort to all corners with Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive with torque vectoring. Fuel economy is claimed to be 7.2L/100km, but that is likely to go higher if you speed-test the sports-tuned suspension that squats the SQ5 30mm lower than the normal SUV.
You can still put the vehicle to practical use as a carthorse, taking advantage of its 2400kg towing capacity.
But it could be the best-dressed SUV in the caravan park with S-logo black brake callipers peeking out through the standard 20-in alloys – or the 21-in optional ones – roof spoiler, special bumpers, aluminium-look grille elements and sporty garnish around the cabin.
Will Audi take the next step and top the Q5 line-up with an RS to sit above the SQ5? No word on that yet but the with brand continually pushing its performance technology profile you’d have to suspect it’s being considered.
The former stance of having ‘only one RS model at a time’ is long gone, with the badge appearing in the A3, A4, A5 and TT ranges, and with rumours of one on the way to the Q3 as well.
For now there’s also no confirmation of whether an Australian launch will follow Europe’s – scheduled for the first quarter of next year. But Audi Australia is not going to dismiss the idea.
“I don’t have anything specific for you yet, but I can suggest that it’s a great-sounding package for a country with such a strong SUV market,” general manager of corporate communications, Anna Burgdorf says.