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The All New Audi SQ5

By raccars Published

Spring 2013's Audi SQ5 is not only an S version of its Q range, but is also the first diesel engine used in the brand's S variants. Most importantly, the Audi A6 and 7s double turbo charged 3.0 litre BiTDI is a unit that gives the SQ5 313bhp and hot hatch levels of performance.

The SQ5 will take you from standstill to 60mph in an impressive 5.1 seconds, beating the BMW X3 xDrive35d M Sport, on the way to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph - this is a far more relaxed package than your average S-class Audi. The SQ5 is laid-back for regular driving but delivers an almost concussive response with a serious depression of the accelerator pedal. It comes further equipped with an ultra-slick eight-speed tiptronic gearbox, for some very smooth motoring.

The Audi SQ5 shines on the road as much as under the bonnet, its handling improving on that of the standard Q5 with some small underbody tweaks, for a 30mm reduction in ride height plus stiffer springs and dampers, along with a modern, dynamic steering system. This takes the SQ5 around corners with almost royal aplomb but is a little to the detriment of ride quality, giving rise to some lumpiness on poor-quality surfaces.

A somewhat flirty element has been added to the SQ5 by the addition of an exhaust noise manipulating 'sound actuator.' This gives you the hum of your average diesel at regular speeds but graduates to a petrol-resembling standard S-class purr, when you put your foot down.

The reason for this diesel addition to the S range – rather than on the more conventional A4 or 6 - is emissions related, returning a reported 187g/kg of CO2. On a car with this level of performance, that is outstanding and will make it far more attractive to the company car executive types than a petrol equivalent.

Fuel economy figures of a combined 39.2mpg are obtained with the help of thermal management, a start-stop system and a regulated oil pump, putting the SQ5 into road tax band J, currently £445 for the first year and going down to £245 next year. However, you get what you pay for and SQ5 prices start at a not insignificant £44,000.

The standard Q5 will receive some mid-life refreshments with the launch of its sister vehicle, most of which are technical and equipment related, but include fuel economy improvements and updated infotainment options, in line with similar updates previously given to the A5.

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