Review: 2014 Audi SQ5
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Audi’s SQ5 has broken cover ahead of its debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show. The sportiest version of the Q5 crossover comes with an uprated version of the 3.0-liter, supercharged V-6 found in the S4 sedan.
It packs a healthy 354 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque, which represents a bump of 72 horsepower and 52 pound-feet of torque over the regular Q5’s blown 3.0-liter. 62 miles per hour arrives in 5.3 seconds, representing an eight-of-a-second improvement, while the top speed has gone up from 130 mph to an electronically limited 155 mph.
Mated to the supercharged powerplant is an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission. Audi claims brisk gear changes, but we won’t be convinced until we’re behind the wheel. It is odd that we aren’t seeing the excellent S-Tronic gearbox in the SQ5. Two shift modes are available, as well as a paddle-operated manual mode. Not surprisingly, power is channeled to the road thanks to a Quattro all-wheel-drive system that features torque vectoring.
Standard suspension upgrades include a lowered suspension (down 1.18 inches), along with stiffer springs and shocks. The steering is electromechanical, which isn’t necessarily good or bad. A variable-ratio dynamic steering system is available for those that are looking for a sportier tiller.
Never one to skimp on aesthetics, Audi has adorned the SQ5 with standard 20-inch wheels. 21s are optional, as well. Tweaked front and rear fascias, along with a sportier grille round out the exterior enhancements. Gray dials in the instrument cluster and “aluminum-look” paddles and pedals give the interior some sporty touches. We’re quite excited to try out the new leather/Alcantara sport seats, as well.
The SQ5 will make its official debut next week in Detroit. Interested customers will need to wait until the third quarter of 2013 to get their hands on the SQ5. We’ll have live images next week, and hopefully some additional information after Audi’s press conference.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Audi.
Audi SQ5 now with gasoline engine and 354 dynamic hp
SQ5 with 3.0 TFSI engine at the Detroit Auto Show
From zero to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 5.3 seconds
250 km/h (155 mph) top speed
The new Audi SQ5 shown at the Detroit Auto Show is the first ever to be powered by a gasoline engine – in this case one producing 260 kW (354 hp) and 470 Nm (346.65 lb-ft) of torque The new top-of-the-line model, which was designed specifically for markets such as the United States, Canada and China, uses a 3.0 TFSI engine with forced induction. It sprints from zero to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 5.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).
The new SQ5 is powered by a free-revving, supercharged, three-liter V6 engine with a displacement of 2,995 cc. Its compressor sits in the 90-degree V of the cylinder banks and is belt-driven by the crankshaft. Two rotors inside the supercharger spin at over 20,000 rpm. The air gap between them is just a few thousandths of a millimeter. The supercharger compresses the intake air to as much as 0.8 bar; two intercoolers then cool it for greater power.
The compressor is located downstream of the throttle valve. Its drive requires little engine power, as the density of the intake air is very low at loads below the supercharging level and when coasting. Torque develops early and quickly due to the short gas paths downstream of the supercharger. Various measures dampen compressor noise. A balance shaft in the engine’s alloy crankcase provides for greater smoothness. Adjustable intake camshafts and flaps in the intake ports provide for good charging efficiency in the combustion chambers.
The 3.0 TFSI engine produces 260 kW (354 hp) between 6,000 and 6,500 rpm, and delivers 470 Nm (346.65 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft between 4,000 and 4,500 rpm. The sprint from zero to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) takes just 5.3 seconds – best in its class. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). The Audi SQ5 consumes on average 8.5 liters of fuel per 100 km in the NEDC (21 US mpg). This equates to CO2 emissions of 199 grams per kilometer (320.26 g/m) in the NEDC.
An eight-speed tiptronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive with torque vectoring transfer the power of the SQ5 firmly to the road. The fast-shifting automatic transmission offers two modes, and the driver can also switch gears manually via the standard shift paddles on the steering wheel.
The chassis of the Audi SQ5 lowers the body 30 millimeters (1.18 in). The springs and shock absorbers are more tautly tuned for a sporty and balanced setup. The 20-inch wheels are fitted with 255/45-series tires; 21-inch wheels are available. The brake calipers on the front axle sport the SQ5 badge. The electromechanical steering not only plays a major role in the efficiency of the SQ5, it also provides very precise road feel. Audi also offers the optional dynamic steering with a steplessly variable ratio. Control of it is integrated in the optional Audi drive select system, which allows the driver to switch among several modes in various systems.
The platinum gray radiator grille with its horizontal double bars in aluminum look, the distinctive bumpers and the roof spoiler are particularly eye-catching. V6 T badges adorn the front fenders. The gloss package and exterior mirrors in aluminum look accentuate the windows. In addition, there are two exclusive crystal-effect finishes: Estoril Blue and Panther Black.
Sportiness carries over to the interior. The instruments feature gray dials and white numerals; the pedals and shift paddles have a shiny aluminum-look finish.
The interior is bathed in black, with the headlining optionally available in Moon Silver. The standard power-adjustable sport seats are covered with a combination of Pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara, with four different colors of leather optional. The standard inlays are brushed aluminum. Options include Carbon Atlas, Piano finish or layered aluminum and wood in Beaufort black.
The SQ5 is scheduled to arrive at U.S. dealerships in the third quarter of 2013. The list of standard equipment is extensive. In addition to the aforementioned features, there are also xenon plus headlights with LED daytime driving lights, a stainless-steel loading-sill protector and a driver information system with color display. The luggage compartment offers up to 1,560 liters (59.33 cu ft) of capacity.
Audi can supply this dynamic SUV with an array of optional assistance and infotainment systems. MMI navigation plus and the Bluetooth online car phone provide the Internet services from Audi connect to the vehicle.
The Audi SQ5 has been designed specifically for the following markets: United States, Canada, Russia, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and the Ukraine. In Germany and many other European markets, the SQ5 TDI takes its place as the sporty top model in its series.