The three-litre V6 TDI unit in the 2021 Audi SQ5 may be slightly down on power than before, but it offers more technological advancements than its predecessor.
The SQ5 has been the flag-bearer of Audi's diesel-powered S models – after all, in 2012, the first-gen SQ5 was the first diesel-powered S model from Audi. Now, the folks from Ingolstadt have revealed the 2021 iteration of the SQ5, which continues to be powered by a mild-hybrid diesel V6. Apart from the obvious design and styling changes carried over from the new 2021 Q5, the 2021 SQ5 remains more or less the same, fundamentally, at least.
As mentioned before, under the hood lies the same three-litre turbo V6 TDI motor, with 48V mild-hybrid assistance. Surprisingly though, the 2021 model develops slightly less power than before – 337bhp compared to 342bhp – but the torque figure (700Nm) remains unchanged and so does the 0 – 100km/h time of 5.1 seconds. The torque band, however, now starts from a relatively lower 1,750rpm (2,500rpm in the 2020 model). The eight-speed Tiptronic transmission and permanent quattro all-wheel-drive (with 60% power bias to the rear wheels) remain unaltered.
Key mechanical changes inside the engine include new forged steel pistons (with stepped recess) instead of the earlier aluminium units and a new piezo sensor. While the forged steel pistons reduce heat loss, the piezo sensor accounts for more precise and optimised fuel-injection.
The intercooler in the bumper has been revised from an air/air cooler unit to an indirect water/air cooler unit, which is now located inside the V of the engine. The resulting shorter intake air paths help build the boost pressure more quickly. This, combined with a more active electric powered compressor (EPC) of the mild-hybrid system, eliminates almost all turbo lag. Boost build-up is further helped by a smaller and lighter compressor wheel in the turbocharger than before.
Thanks to S sport suspension, the SQ5 rides 30mm lower than the standard Q5, sitting on chunky 20-inch wheels as standard.