Audi’s new 2018 SQ5 debuts

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Although it’s not a diesel, the engine in the new SQ5 promises effortless performance from almost idle. Peak torque – all 500 Nm (369 lb ft) of it – is available from just 1,370 RPM and runs all the way to 4,500 RPM. Mated with a quick shifting eight-speed dual clutch, there should be plenty of poke on tap, regardless of how many kids you load into the back. Peak power remains at 264 kW (354 hp), and the car should hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in the same 5.1 seconds as before.

Other than the improved performance and a few styling tweaks, the cabin and safety tech of the SQ5 mirrors that of the standard Q5 SUV. That means it’s pretty well outfitted with available Audi Virtual Cockpit (with a unique “sport” display mode for the digital instrument cluster), MMI touch infotainment with 4G LTE connectivity and standard Audi presense city forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, as well as other features.

The new Q5 is slated for local release in the third quarter of this year, and expectations are the SQ5 will follow soon after.

The diesel Q5 still sold well in 2016 with 3599 units, making it fourth-most popular in the medium SUV over $60,000 segment after the Mercedes-Benz GLC (4454), Land Rover Discovery Sport (4432) and BMW X3 (3824).

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