Diesels are dead? Not so fast, says Audi.

Sales in Europe of diesel-fueled vehicles have taken quite a hit in recent years in the aftermath of the Volkswagen Group’s costly emissions scandals, but there’s still a significant segment of the market with an appetite for the TDI. VAG’s premium brand Audi is confident even a high-performance diesel still makes sense in today’s automotive scene, prompting the Four Rings to give the SQ7 a kid brother.

Say hello to the new SQ5 TDI and its ample amount of torque: 516 pound-feet (700 Newton-meters). At the heart of the latest Audi SUV is a 3.0-liter, 342-horsepower V6 with a mild hybrid twist in the same vein as the mighty SQ7. It boasts a 48-volt main electrical system and is fitted as standard with an electric powered compressor (EPC), with the energy coming from a lithium-ion battery pack installed underneath the cargo floor.

Gallery: 2019 Audi SQ5 TDI

While this may sound a bit boring, the electrified component is there for a very good reason – to eliminate turbo lag, with Audi describing the EPC as being the turbocharger’s ideal assistance. The EPC kicks in right away and helps the SQ5 TDI in the low-rev range up to 1,650 rpm whenever the exhaust gas flow sends too little energy to the turbocharger.

The amped-up Q5 needs 5.1 seconds to reach a “highway speed,” which is probably Audi’s way of saying 62 mph (100 kph). Flat out, it will do an electronically governed 155 mph (250 kph).

Not only does the electrified powertrain provide more performance than a conventional setup, but it also saves fuel. Audi promises fuel savings of up to 0.7 liters / 100 km in the real world, so you get the best of both worlds. It goes without saying the SQ5 TDI has Quattro all-wheel drive as standard, which receives the engine’s power from an eight-speed tiptronic transmission. The automatically adaptable AWD can send as much as 70 percent of the muscle to the front wheels or 85 percent to the rear axle.

As with just about every other model from Audi Sport, the styling upgrades over the regular Q5 are subtle. The premium SUV looks a bit more aggressive than the lesser variants, but it’s not immediately noticeable. As standard, it rides on 20-inch alloy wheels or you can opt for a larger 21-inch set at an additional cost.

At home in Germany, the new Audi SQ5 TDI will go on sale this summer with a starting price of €67,750.

As a final note, there will likely be another SQ-badged diesel SUV from Audi taking into account the SQ8 was spotted at the end of November 2018 carrying the TDI badge.

Source: Audi

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The new Audi SQ5 TDI: Instant performance thanks to electric powered compressor

  • 3.0 V6 TDI engine with 255 kW (347 hp), 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft), electric powered compressor, classic turbocharger and 48 V mild hybrid technology
  • Eight-speed tiptronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive
  • Suspension with damper control standard, optional air suspension

700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque, output 255 kW (347 hp): The new Audi SQ5 TDI* once again has a powerful V6 engine under the hood, just like its successful predecessor of the first generation. An electric powered compressor ensures that maximum torque is available to the sporty SUV at just above idle; a mild hybrid system further enhances efficiency.