Audi SQ5 TDI Plus: The Faster Diesel SUV You Still Can’t Have
The Audi S4 is a great sports sedan, and the new one promises to be a heck of a fun car to drive — but for enthusiasts who wanted to drive a sports sedan with a little extra practicality, Audi used to sell a station wagon version of the S4. It was even available with a manual transmission at one point, making it potentially one of the most awesome vehicles you could buy.
It was also extremely expensive to maintain, but that’s beside the point.
The point is that Audi won’t sell you an S4 wagon anymore if you live in the United States, which is sad, but it was also probably inevitable. For anyone who wants a vehicle that combines performance and practicality, though, Audi does have a solution.
That answer is the Audi SQ5. It’s a 354 horsepower version of its Q5 crossover SUV, and while it’s not quite as fun to drive as it would be in wagon form, it’ll still hit 60 miles per hour in a tick over five seconds, and it even sounds great, too.
But the biggest problem is that Audi doesn’t sell the coolest version of the SQ5 here. It reserves a diesel version for Europe either because it hates Americans or because it insists on only selling vehicles here that people will actually buy.
If you envy Europeans and their Audi SQ5 TDIs, then you’re about to get a lot more envious because at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi unveiled the SQ5 TDI Plus – an even faster version of the already-quick SQ5 TDI.
Packing an extra 27 horses under the bonnet, the SQ5 TDI plus now makes 340 horsepower. Torque, meanwhile, is up 37 pound-feet, bringing the total up to a stump-pulling 516 pounds of twist. Thanks to that extra power, Audi claims it will hit 60 miles per hour in five seconds flat.
When you aren’t busy doing four-wheel burnouts or towing freight trains, the TDI Plus promises to be quite fuel efficient. It’s rated at 35 miles per gallon, which is great by any standard but especially for a performance-focused SUV.
The TDI Plus also comes with a sport differential out back, a first for the Q5 family, that should improve handling by shuffling power to the wheel that needs it most. You can also get 21-inch wheels that are glossy black to match the side-view mirrors, the door handles, the spoiler, and the rear diffuser. Inside, the Nappa leather seats have a diamond pattern in silver.
If you really want your Audi SQ5 TDI Plus to feel special, you can order the special equipment package “Audi exclusive selection macaw blue.”
Each of the 100 vehicles equipped with that package will be painted macaw blue and fitted with black Nappa leather sport seats. Macaw blue contrast stitching also adorns the seats, the steering wheel, the gear selector, and the floor mats. Aluminum inlays complete the special interior package.
Pricing starts at €67,700 and the special equipment package will cost €8,670.
It may not be measurably faster than the typical SQ5 TDI, but adding more power without noticeably impacting fuel economy is always a good thing. The real value to anyone who is going to drive hard, though, is the inclusion of a sport differential that should help the SQ5 hustle when it’s asked to.
Mostly, though, it’s a car that’s cool, and we can’t have it, which only makes us want it more.