While those vehicles often receive credit for serving the interests of performance or utility, one vehicle being added to European roadways has been a fusion of qualities. Audi’s first production crossover to be decked out with S treatment, the SQ5 crossover was also the first vehicle of the brand to incorporate a TDI engine in their sport trim.
With Audi performance models always desired in the United States marketplace, the buzz surrounding the 313-horsepower SQ5 was more vociferous as ever. Despite the fact Audi’s TDI engines has existed as a major advocate in promoting the position of diesel-powered vehicles in premium car markets in North America, regulatory and driving culture weighed heavily against the Audi SQ5’s arrival. Entering 2013, the first victory of sorts has been obtained by Audi fans stateside regarding the SQ5 crossover vehicle. Premiering at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Audi has brokered a compromise for non-European markets seeking the high-performance crossover vehicle.
Peace comes in the form of a three-liter supercharged gasoline engine. Making its home in the Audi SQ5 crossover for vehicles sold in United States, Canada, China and several other countries, the six-cylinder 3.0 TFSI engine is a formidable consolation when the exotic TDI powerplant is unavailable. Recognized by WardsAuto’s 10 Best Engines list through four consecutive years including the recent 2012 awards, there should be little concern that the gusto and grace of the SQ5 will be lost when propelled by gasoline. Belting out 354 horsepower, North American buyers will actually get higher output from that performance category than the TDI engine. What customers of the gasoline-powered Audi SQ5 will lose over the European TDI version is the colossal 479 pounds feet of torque production. The 3.0 TFSI engine under the hood of the Audi SQ5 will supply a calmer torque amounting to 347 foot-pounds.
Despite the powerplant change, the US-bound Audi SQ5 carries much of the remaining performance hardware intact. Missing the thrills of the TDI badge, Audi SQ5 buyers in the states will still adore the impact of quattro all-wheel drive. The Audi SQ5’s quattro drive includes torque vectoring to insure 354 horsepower meets the ground in the most efficient manner. Eight-speed tiptronic transmission offers the driver with choice of an automatic mode or the opportunity to manually shift through steering wheel-mounted paddles.
When the Audi SQ5 is combined with the 3.0 TFSI engine, performance remains vibrant. Acceleration from 0 to 62 miles per hour is capable in just 5.3 seconds behind the wheel of the gasoline-powered SQ5 crossover up to a top speed of 155 miles per hour. In the performance category known as fuel economy, the 3.0 TFSI equipped Audi SQ5 is quoted to deliver 21 miles per gallon in average driving conditions.
The sporty appearance of the European Audi SQ5 model is also untouched. The platinum gray grille treatment, aluminum highlights on the exterior mirrors and window frames as well as available 21-inch wheels will all make the trip from European on the North American models of the Audi SQ5. Fitted with a unique front bumper cover, the Audi SQ5’s lower look visually is also the credit of the crossover being lowered 1.18 inches compared to the Q5 crossover.
Inside, the Audi SQ5 is immersed in exciting colours and materials. Nappa leather combined with Alcantara covers the standard power-adjustable sport seats. In the driver’s seat, instruments with white numbers, gray-coloured dials and aluminum touches on the shifter paddles and pedals convey a true sense of luxury sports car vanity. Brushed aluminum, Carbon Atlas, Piano finish or the choice of an aluminum/Beaufort black wood are inlay choices available for the Audi SQ5‘s interior. With room for five passengers, the Audi SQ5 is a performance wish fulfilment machine that delights practically minded individuals with up to 59.33 cubic feet of cargo space. Audi MMI navigation plus and Bluetooth online car phone is optional infotainment gear ideal for adding high-tech with high-performance.
Making a public debut in Detroit, the Audi SQ5 will become part of dealership product line-ups during the third quarter of 2013.
Information and photo source: Audi AG