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
The ever-expanding range of performance edition Audi models is becoming a tantalizing treat to the European car lovers all over the world. Making use of the ‘S’ and ‘RS’ branding at a heightened frequency to corner the growing high performance models from Mercedes-Benz AMG division as well as BMW’s M line, Audi has been showing exceptional ambition in flourishing the go-fast attitude vehicles wearing the four-ring emblem. Creating coupes, convertibles, sedans and Avant wagons to match performance-seeking tastes, Audi’s latest venture with the S model badge is a departure from the current menu of vehicles.
Popularizing diesel as a performance engine ever since their R10 prototype sports car won the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi has been tempted to for a while to bring the technology to the street. Several years ago, much speculation surrounded a TDI version of the Audi R8 supercar but it never materialized. The first S model vehicle to feature one of Audi’s crossover vehicles has the basis for performance enhancements, the SQ5 will be most noteworthy as the premiere of TDI engine technology for this sport application. The Audi SQ5 will be powered by what will be the highest output TDI powerplant to be featured in the car brand‘s street-legal vehicle collection. Generating a forceful 313 horsepower, the Audi SQ5’s six-cylinder 3.0 TDI engine incorporates many touches for optimized diesel performance such as twin turbochargers. Compared to the Porsche Cayenne Diesel built by Audi’s VW Group sister brand, the SQ5 is 63 horsepower more powerful also pushed by 73 additional feet-pounds of torque.
The Audi SQ5’s hood, the 3.0 TDI performance diesel is joined to an 8-speed tiptronic gearbox. Channelled through Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive technology, the SQ5’s true nature comes with impressive acceleration. Launching from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 5.1 seconds, the diesel-powered Audi SQ5 is a formidable performer against even some performance V-8 crossover vehicles. A top speed of 155 miles per hour is obtainable with the Audi SQ5 crossover. Spinning 245/45 tires, 20-inch and optional 21-inch wheels circulate tied to a sport-tuned suspension system. With the Audi SQ5 quattro providing torque vectoring, the crossover vehicle is additionally controlled through an extra cost Audi select drive system that offers dynamic steering.
With the 313-horsepower 3.0 TDI powerplant mated to quattro drive provides the necessary physical prowess of an Audi S model vehicle, the next area of improvement to the Q5 is making the crossover look aggressive enough to earn a sport moniker. The trademark front Audi grille on the SQ5 is treated with a platinum gray to create the appearance of aluminum. The side mirror covered with aluminum-like detail complements a high gloss package around the windows on the Audi SQ5 crossover giving the vehicle a unique glimmer. Modified bumper covers and a rear spoiler completes the accentuation of the Audi SQ5 to its friskier character.
Playing along the similar styling theme of the exterior, the Audi SQ5 cabin receives attention. Interior paneling of the Audi SQ5 provides the owner with a choice of Carbon Atlas, Piano finish and the new Aluminum/Beaufort wood black trim pieces. Brushed aluminum inlays and the S badge advertising completes an ultra-modern interior appearance. Power adjustable sport seats within a two-tone, leather-upholstered cabin insures comfort for the Audi SQ5’s passenger behind the high-performance diesel engine.
The Audi SQ5 TDI crossover vehicle will be made available in European dealerships by early 2013. There has not been an announcement if the sale of the Audi SQ5 will extend into North America.
Information and photo source: Audi AG
Pertaining to sport versions of Audi’s vehicles, the RS destination was given to the German luxury car brand’s products in 1994. Inaugurated on ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ called the RS2 Avant, the flexibility Audi showed with towards high performance presented the all-wheel drive quattro drivetrain linked in a screaming 311 horsepower 2.2 liter turbocharged engine. In recent years, Audi’s avant-garde design has been injected with a high dose of performance character through expanded use of the RS badge as the brand headquartered in Ingolstadt, Germany targeted the M division of BMW and AMG outfitted Mercedes-Benz products.
Extended to sedan, coupes, convertibles and wagons of many sizes, there have yet to be a production RS model of an Audi crossover vehicle. At the upcoming Beijing Auto China exhibit, one concept presentation using an Audi Q3 will finally test the waters of crossover utility merging with the high-performance RS trim.
Painted a rather calming shade of Ordos Blue (a mix of matte blue and yellow), the Audi RS Q3 Concept is a rare variety of compact utility super performance. Lowered 25 millimeters (0.98 inches) compared to the stock model Q3 sold in Europe, the Audi RS Q3’s bodywork also portrays a wider stance for the crossover vehicle. Unique front grille, tinted front headlight and taillight housings as well as the precise use of aluminum trim allows the concept crossover to beam premium performance. Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) body add-ons on the Audi RS Q3 supplies a front spoiler, rear diffuser and retouched air intakes surroundings befitting a sports car. The Audi RS Q3 sport compact crossover rides on 20-inch wheels featuring a multi-finish style where high-gloss and matte-looking surfaces combine within 255/30 tires.
The sight of blue, black and aluminum fill the Audi RS Q3 Concept’s interior. A glass sunroof allows natural light to flow freely through the cabin of the five-passenger cabin. Creating a sense of high-grade performance along with a premium comfort feel, the RS Q3 Concept features seating marrying Nappa leather and dark blue alcantara. Ahead of a redesigned instrument panel, black velvet covers the steering wheel made of CFRP material.
Powering the Audi RS Q3 Concept is the 2.5 liter, five-cylinder TFSI similar to the one found in the TT RS sports car. A direct-injected and turbocharged engine, 144 horsepower per liter from the inline powerplant combines to total 360 horsepower. Networked through a seven-speed S Tronic direct shift transmission, the 360 horsepower of the Audi RS Q3 is intelligently guided along quattro all-wheel drive for incredible performance. Capable of a top speed of almost 165 miles per hour, acceleration from 0 to 62 in the Audi RS Q3 is estimated at 5.2 seconds.
Making its public debut late next week in China, the high performance Audi RS Q3 Concept will be auditioning for its place in the upcoming vehicle line-up of this growing German auto brand.
Information and photo source: Audi AG