Audi SQ5 TDI launches in Le Mans as first ever diesel-powered ‘S’ model

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Audi TDI power flexed its muscle both on and off the circuit in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race as the new road-going SQ5 TDI makes a very fitting debut at the annual endurance marathon alongside the diesel-powered Audi R18 sports prototypes.

The new super-SUV will be notable as the first TDI-powered ‘S’ model in the history of the Vorsprung durch Technik brand, and will offer a choice blend of 310 hp and 39 mpg capability.

The 3.0-litre BiTDI engine powers the new SQ5 TDI through an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and via quattro all-wheel-drive it is good for a 0-100 km/h time of just 5.1 seconds and a governed 155 mph top speed, and sounds every inch an ‘S’ model as it punches at the horizon thanks to a specially developed sound actuator in the exhaust system which enriches the exhaust note.

With the help of innovative thermal management, the engine start-stop system and a regulated oil pump, economy remains firmly in TDI territory, with up to 39.2 mpg possible according to the combined cycle test.

The TDI has two turbochargers, which are connected in series via a flap. Cylinder head cooling, the timing and lift of the intake cam shafts, the pistons, their oil-jet cooling and the piston pins have also been specially designed for high performance.

The common rail system develops as much as 2,000 bar of pressure and injects as many as eight shots of fuel into the cylinders per cycle.

The electromechanical power steering in the Audi SQ5 TDI is sensitive and highly efficient. Sport suspension lowers its body by 30 millimetres.

The most eye-catching design cues distinguishing the new SQ5 TDI are the platinum grey single-frame grille with its galvanized double bars in an aluminum-look finish, the roof spoiler and the modified bumpers.