Following the reveal of the facelifted Q5 SUV last summer, Audi is pulling the wraps off the flagship 2021 SQ5 TDI.
Destined for the European market, the new SQ5 TDI adopts all the styling changes and tech upgrades of the regular Q5 and adds a revised 3.0-liter V6 TDI into the mix, along with more model-specific features.
The six-cylinder diesel engine in the 2021 SQ5 TDI produces 336 HP (341 PS) and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of torque between 1,750 and 3,250 rpm. 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) comes in 5.1 seconds while top speed remains limited to 155 mph (250 km/h).
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Updated V6 TDI for better performance and efficiency
Audi has revised the V6 TDI engine to make it more efficient and deliver its power earlier in the rev range; the pistons are now made out of forged steel instead of aluminum for reduced heat losses, featuring a stepped recess for faster and more efficient combustion. There are also new piezo sensors for the solenoid injectors, while the intercooler is now an indirect water/air cooler mounted inside the ‘V’ of the engine. In addition, the turbocharger features a smaller and lighter compressor wheel, while the exhaust manifold is better insulated.
The 2021 Audi SQ5 TDI’s unit continues to work with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which can recover up to 8 kW of power and allows the vehicle to coast for up to 40 seconds with the engine turned off. Audi also claims that the mild-hybrid system can reduce fuel consumption by up to 0.7 liters/100 km (0.2 US gal).
Electric compressor to eliminate turbo lag
One of the SQ5 TDI’s highlights remains intact and that is the electrically powered compressor (EPC). Working in conjunction with the regular turbocharger, Audi’s EPC basically chucks air into the engine whenever the exhaust gas flow is too little to spin the regular turbocharger, thus eliminating turbo lag. For 2021, the EPC has been retuned to be used more frequently and across a broader rev range, making the engine more responsive than before.
The 2021 SQ5 TDI sits 30 mm (1.2 inches) lower thanks to the S sport suspension with active dampers. Audi offers a sport differential as an option, as well as an adaptive air suspension with S-specific tuning. A set of 20-inch alloy wheels shod in 255/45 tires is standard, with 21-inch wheels available as an option.
As with the regular Q5, the latest digital OLED taillights is an option to the SQ5 TDI. The sportiest Q5 in the range also features LED headlights as standard, with Matrix LED units being optional.
A premium and high-tech interior
Inside the cabin of the new 2021 Audi SQ5 TDI you’ll find leather/synthetic leather upholstery, electrically adjustable sport seats with embossed S logos, illuminated door sills, contrasting stitching on the steering wheel and the seats, and brushed aluminum trim as standard. Options include everything from carbon trim inlays to Nappa leather and massage function for the seats.
The 2021 SQ5 features the company’s MIB 3-based MMI infotainment system, which operates through a 10.1-inch touchscreen display and features natural-language voice control. Moreover, the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster offers three different graphic layouts, Dynamic, Sport and Classic, while in Vorsprung models it gets a head-up display projecting important information in the driver’s line of vision.
First examples to arrive in Europe next year
Audi will launch the 2021 SQ5 TDI in Europe during the first quarter of 2021, when production starts at the company’s factory in San José Chiapa, Mexico. Prices start from 68,137 euros ($80,300 in current exchange rates) in Germany, and from £56,600 in the UK.