We knew all along it was just a matter of time before Audi came out with an S-badged SUV. Then came rumours about a performance version of the Q5 SUV being developed, which were later confirmed by our spy snapper who spotted a test mule in Germany.
Now Audi has put an end to speculation by launching the SQ5 TDI, a diesel-powered super-SUV version of the Q5 and powered by a bi-turbo 3.0-litre oil-burner that makes 313bhp and 650Nm of torque.
Unveiled at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the SQ5’s power is sent to the Quattro all-wheel drive system via an eight-speed tiptronic transmission, taking the crossover to 100kph from standstill in just 5.1 seconds, before hitting an electronically limited top speed of 250kph. That’s more than satisfactory power and speed for a compact crossover, which just as importantly, returns a fuel economy of 7.2 litres-per-100km.
Giving the SQ5 its distinctly aggressive look are S design elements including a sportier fascia treatment with revised platinum grey single-frame grille and redesigned bumpers, aluminium-trimmed wing mirrors and a tailgate-mounted spoiler.
The new model is available in Estoril Blue or Panther Black. The predominantly black cabin gets, power-adjustable sport seats upholstered in leather, brushed aluminium inlays, S-badged instruments with grey dials and white needles, aluminium pedals and shift paddles.
The suspension has also been tweaked with a reduction in height by 30mm and 20in alloys with five parallel-spoke design fitted with 255/45 tyres as standard.
The Audi SQ5 will hit showrooms in the first quarter of 2013, with a price tag starting from €58,500 (Dh273,845), but wait before you pull out that chequebook; it’s unlikely that this diesel super-crossover will be coming our side.