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Audi SQ5: First drive report

Audi SQ5

Nice first drive report here with the new Audi SQ5. Enjoy!

The production SQ5 uses a twin-turbo, 313-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 TDI; it’s the same engine as is found in Europe’s A6 Avant, which we drove last year. The engine is both aggressive and impressive—it simply transforms the Q5’s character when compared to the single-turbo, 3.0-liter 245-hp diesel that will be offered in the crossover here for 2014. The transformation is particularly noticeable when you select Dynamic mode, which sharpens the responses of the engine, chassis, and steering. There is far less turbo lag on the SQ5, and it delivers significantly more grunt across the entire powerband. This leap is a bit surprising: The regular Q5’s 3.0 TDI already produces 428 lb-ft of torque; the SQ5 engine increases that figure to 479 lb-ft, and it’s available from 1450 to 2800 rpm. And thanks to the artificially enhanced sound of the SQ5, there is no mistaking the two engines; the hi-po version is accompanied by a sharp, V-8–like growl that’s audible even from outside the vehicle.