Audi used the Le Mans weekend to announce it hot diesel SUV – the 309 bhp SQ5.
It has exactly the same power as the Range Rover TDV8, but of course in a much smaller package, being an astonishing 900 kg lighter.
As well as 309 bhp, the 3.0 twin turbo engine produces 650NM of torque (pulling power) between 1450 rpm and 2800 rpm. Channelled through an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission it is good for a 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds and a governed 155mph top speed. Official fuel consumption is a surprisingly benign 39.2 mpg, although Audi says, "up to 39.2mpg is possible according to the combined cycle test", which does not sound like the company expects that to be a common experience.
As is becoming increasingly common (e.g. the new Ford Focus ST) it has a specially developed sound actuator to enhance the engine note – in the case of the Audi, it is part of the exhaust, rather than part of the inlet manifold, but the intention is the same.
The uprated engine is complemented by Sport suspension, which lowers the body by 30 millimetres. The standard 20-inch wheels, come with 255/45 tyres, and optional 21-inch wheels with even lower profile tyres are available. We would not recommend relying on tyres like that in the snow, no matter how clever the Quattro system may be.
The UK order book will open in October with prices around £45,000, ahead of first deliveries next spring.