Evolution:- First diesel powered S model- SQ5 Tdi
Date: Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 23:16:29 BST
Author: audioc
Topic: Q5

Audi SQ5 Tdi GrilleAudi innovate; typically backed up with motorsport success for a given technology that is being developed that will make it's way into road cars that "Joe Bloggs" can buy and drive. This, in turn, gives their marketing departments LOTS of "ammunition"- they bang the drum about quattro at any given opportunity- even if the parts departments fail to "pick up the mantle" supplying parts for cars that are over ten years old.
Audi started this in 1980 with the quattro system- and it took several years (some would say "too many") before quattro was available with a diesel engine- tending to be reserved for use in the higher performance cars- which in turn then spawned the S and -eventually- the RS models. The RS model was once akin to the "holy grail"- limited numbers, blistering performance and an enhanced specification package to suit. This has changed in recent years, with the RS models tending to be "all common and garden" vehicles- no limited runs, not limited to one particular body style, and losing that special appeal that ever more so justified the price tag increase over the "standard" performance S models.



Audi SQ5 rearMissing a marketing (and sales) opportunity, Audi didn't make quattro transmission available with frugal diesel engines until the early 90's- a whole ten years after quattro was unleashed.
Missing yet another opportunity, the S performance range of road going Audi's also started in the early 90's- with no "hot" version of the diesel powered vehicles being made available by the factory. Sure, there have been some GREAT Diesel engines produced- the 2.5 litre straight 5 (which in various forms by various manufacturers has powered all manner of vehicles, including boats) is an excellent example- first appearing in the Audi 100, followed by the A6- you could buy an A6 2.5ltr quattro, but if you wanted a performance version of the A6- you had to go S6 (petrol variation of the 5 cylinder engine) or S6 plus (V8 petrol engine, very rare)- but neither had the torque or the frugality of the oil burner. Things have progressed- "evolution", Darwin called it- is within Audi's DNA- cue 3.0 litre+ diesel engines in various forms and sizes- typically from 1.4 upto 4.2 litres (6.0 litre V12 if you're looking at a prototype) and anything from 3 cylinders upto 8- with variations in between. But STILL no "smoking hot" version of a vehicle released by Audi.
Audi have used motorsport to their advantage for many things- quattro in rallying from day one; using it to promote the brand in "not so great times" in the USA at the end of the 80's/ early 90's, upto present day with diesel power and hybrid technology producing additional power and 4 wheel drive to enable them to fin LeMans this year.
Audi started using and developing Diesel for motorsport applications back in 2005- with the R10, utilising a 5.5 litre V12 Tdi powerplant. This was succeeded in 2009 with the R15, utilising a 5.5 litre V10 twin turbo power plant and common rail fuel delivery system, developing over 600bhp. Evolution again, with the R18- and a reduced engine configuration- 3.7 litres in V6 format, but only using a single turbo.
That's a full 8 years of high performance diesel technology evolution- in various engine configurations, fuel delivery systems, turbo chargers and engine sizes. Sure, a LOT of this technology has made it's way into road cars (although, unfortunately, it appears the R8 Tdi will not materialise- they missed a trick there- and the TT wasn't available in diesel form until series 2- unless you made your own)- but STILL no "smoking hot" diesel version.
Audi SQ5Questions still remain;- why? Or rather, why not?
High performance Audi, with quattro and diesel- yes. But no "smoking hot" one. No S or RS model with an oil burner powering it. Advances have been made in both petrol and diesel technologies- with fuel efficiency and power increases as Audi continue with evolution of technology, materials and manufacturing methods- next step is hybrid technology as a viable power plant alternative- but I don't see this being "mainstream" among owners for five years or so- and by then who knows where Audi's evolving DNA will be. The gap between petrol and diesel is shrinking- FSI mpg is now better than diesel mpg was 5 years ago-  from a smaller engine displacement. Clean burning diesels can now match -often supercede (increased torque, among other things) their petrol equivalents.
So now- whether it be down to marketing, manufacturing, cost or general consumer perception of diesel powered vehicles -cars in particular- Audi has finally unveiled a "smoking hot", high performance, diesel powered vehicle. Me- I would have expected the first variation to have been based on the A5, or perhaps the A7. But then you have the marketing "issue"- do you really want a diesel powered performance vehicle to "compete" with your own high performance petrol offering?
Audi SQ5Or do you try to compete in a "new" market segment- along the likes of Range Rover, etc. but with a high performance model where the competition doesn't have as much heritage, pedigree and prowess? (Even if it isn't the prettiest model offered in the Audi range)
I thought- literally a few weeks prior to the build up of this years LeMans- why hadn't Audi developed and marketed a performance model with an oil burner powering it. If so, what would they badge them? ST? (Ford), SD (Rover)- what?- and then Audi unveiled the SQ5 Tdi at LeMans. Diesel has never been a big seller in the USA, so the market there for the model is limited- but how hard is it to tweak the DNA of the power plant to give it the expected levels of performance and frugality, and raid the S and/ or RS "parts bin" and create a hybrid of the 2? (Lets face it, plenty of owners have done it in the past)
So now you have it.
Evolution.
Or as we have been known to refer to it (thanks to those afore mentioned Audi marketing bods)- "Vorsprung durch Technik".
The SQ5 TDI made a timely debut at the annual endurance marathon alongside the diesel-powered Audi R18 sports prototypes. The new SUV will offer 313PS and 650 Nm of torque from it's 3.0 litre V6 BiTDI offering 39mpg capability, 0-62mph 5.1 seconds, and a maximum speed limited to 155mph.
Order books are expected to open in October, priced at around £45,000 with first deliveries expected next spring.

Quick Comparison (No optional extras):

Model Engine Power Gearbox Drivetrain ROTR
Q5 S line Plus 2.0 TFSI 225 tiptronic quattro £37,515.00
Q5 S line Plus 3.0 TFSI 272 tiptronic quattro £40,965.00
Q5 S line Plus 2.0 TDI 177 S tronic quattro £37,515.00
Q5 S line Plus 3.0 TDI 245 S tronic quattro £41,615.00
SQ5 Tdi 3.0 BiTdi 313 tiptronic  quattro £45,000.00

This car sounds every inch an ‘S’ model with a specially developed sound actuator in the exhaust system which "enriches" the exhaust note.

Audi SQ5 Tdi detailEconomy remains firmly in TDI territory, with up to 39.2mpg possible according to the combined cycle test with the help of innovative thermal management, the engine start-stop system and a regulated oil pump. Performance is made possible in part thanks to its 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 power steering in the Audi SQ5 TDI is electromechanical, and sport suspension lowers its body by 30 mm, sitting on 20-inch wheels as standard, optional 21 inch wheels are also available. The optional Audi drive select system can be expanded upon request to include the dynamic steering system with its steplessly variable steering ratio.
The exterior is distinguished by the platinum grey single-frame grille with its galvanized double bars in an aluminium-look finish, the roof spoiler and the modified bumpers, a high-gloss package and the aluminium-look exterior mirrors, finished with crystal effect paint finishes Estoril Blue or Panther Black.
Audi SQ5 Tdi detail- interiorInside, the interior is finished predominantly in black, but the headlining is optionally available in lunar silver. The power-adjustable sport seats are leather-upholstered as standard, with brushed aluminium inlays- although inlay options include Carbon Atlas, Piano finish and the new Aluminium/Beaufort wood black trim panels.
Grey instrument dials with a 3D-design S badge and white needles, while the pedals and shift paddles have an aluminium-look finish, S badges on the door sill trims, and other styling cues for the start button, the specially-shaped steering wheel and the lighting package.
Options also include Audi’s state-of-the-art assistance and infotainment systems as well as Audi connect services, bringing the many benefits of the internet to the car.
Luggage capacity is upto 1,560 litres (55.09 cu ft), and will make a useful towing vehicle, with a rated towing capacity of up to 2.4 metric tons- ideal for horse boxes.....
Thankfully the enhanced package makes the car actually look half decent- in basic trim the Q5 is not exactly a looker, this turns the ugly duckling into the proverbial swan, powered with a decent shot of mechanical viagra that will not want to visit the pumps too often.
Now, when are they going to carry on and do the same for other models in the range and capitalise on the investment made for the past 6 years at LeMans.....

*information correct at time of publishing- e& o.e



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