Revealed at the Detroit Auto Show in January, the new 2014 Audi SQ5 will be headed to showrooms here later this summer with a starting price of $52,795. While its European cousin, the SQ5 TDI, packs a 313-horsepower/3.0-liter twin-turbocharged diesel V6, this Ameri-spec variation on Audi's midsize luxury crossover theme gets its motivation from an even more potent gasoline-burning 354-horse/3.0-liter supercharged TFSI V6. Backed by an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic that sends power to the pavement via Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system the new SQ5 can streak from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds and hit an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
To ensure that might can be fully and successfully exploited, the SQ5's extensive roster of standards also includes a full sport suspension with a 1.2-inch lower ride height and 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 225/40 performance tires. Like the Q5, it also comes with a nifty roof rack detection system that automatically adjusts the programming of the Electronic Stability Control system in response to the presumed change in the vehicle's center of gravity any time the crossbars are installed. Buyers seeking even more enthusiast edge can upgrade the basic SQ5 mix with a 21-inch wheel/tire package, Audi's drive select dynamic handling system and stepless dynamic assist power steering in place of the standard electro-mechanical unit.
Bolder exterior/interior styling cues help distinguish the SQ5 from its lesser Q5 siblings, including signature "S" style front/rear fascia treatments, Xenon plus headlights, LED running lamps, a Platinum Gray grille and diffusers, aluminum roof rails and mirror housings, bespoke instrumentation, and leather/Alcantara power sport seats that can be upgraded to Fine Nappa or premium Milano leather. Topping the SQ5's options roster is the Audi Connect in-vehicle infotainment system with Wi-Fi, MMI Navigation, a Bang & Olufsen audio package, blind-spot assist and adaptive cruise control.
For those willing to trade a bit of the SQ5's pure performance character in return for more efficiency, Audi also is adding a new Q5 TDI to the family lineup for 2014. Fitted with the automaker's 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that makes 240 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque, it starts at $47,395 and can hustle to 60 mph in a quite respectable 6.5 ticks while still netting 24/31 city/highway mpg EPA ratings.
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