The Audi SQ5 TDI is coming back with a bang.

    The 2021 SQ5 TDI will offered in both wagon and Sportback bodies when it touches down in the second half of next year.

    Unlike its diesel predecessor, the current SQ5 was petrol-only in Australia at launch in 2017. Although an SQ5 TDI joined the range late this year, it’s a limited-edition farewell to the pre-facelift Q5 rather than a full-time member of the range.

    The SQ5 TDI Sportback uses the same 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 engine as its wagon counterpart, producing 251kW of power and 700Nm of torque.

    It features a 48V mild-hybrid system, which allows the SQ5 to recover braking energy and coast for up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off.

    The turbo-diesel six is mated to an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

    The SQ5’s all-wheel drive system normally distributes 40 per cent of torque to the front wheels, and 60 per cent to the rear. This is adjusted automatically, and the car can send up to 70 per cent of torque to the front, and 85 per cent to the back.

    A sport differential is available which actively adjusts torque distribution between the rear wheels, directing more torque to the outside wheel.

    Audi claims a 0-100km/h time of 5.1 seconds, identical to its more upright counterpart. So, too, is the electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.

    The SQ5’s sport suspension with adaptive dampers lowers the body by 30mm compared to the regular Q5 Sportback, while six-piston front brake calipers are standard. Adaptive air suspension is optional.

    Like the wagon, the SQ5 Sportback rides on 255/45 tyres with 20-inch alloy wheels, although 21-inch rims are available for extra.

    Inside the cabin, the old MMI infotainment system controlled by a rotary dial has been replaced by a new touchscreen iteration with a larger 10.1-inch display, up from 8.3 inches in the outgoing model.

    Ahead of the driver there’s a 12.3-inch high-resolution instrumentation display.

    Local pricing and specs have yet to be confirmed but available features on international models include OLED tail-lights, Matrix LED headlights, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, and ventilated front seats with massaging.

    Audi has returned a turbo-diesel to the Australian-market SQ5 line after initially offering the second-generation SUV with a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine.

    The SQ5 TDI will return this month despite the imminent arrival of an updated Q5 range. The regular Q5 range will start to arrive in the first half of next year.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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