Details of the new model are starting to emerge, with Audi’s powertrain boss Oliver Hoffman telling Autocar that 390bhp was "possible" from the new SQ5, representing a potential increase of 55bhp over the existing SQ5 Plus, which has 335bhp. However, he added that it was important to maintain driveability, suggesting a power output of around 365bhp.
Hoffman also revealed that the new SQ5, which is expected in 2017, will use a 48V electric system powering an electric compressor running in tandem with a single exhaust-driven turbocharger, rather than the twin turbos of the current SQ5.
That's in the contrast to the recently launched SQ7 on which the electric compressor had its debut, where two exhaust-driven turbos work alongside the electrically powered compressor.
Apart from lag reduction, the deletion of a second exhaust-driven turbo cuts heat loss from the exhaust system, in turn benefiting fuel efficieny, which relies on high temperatures for optimal results.
The SQ5's 3.0-litre diesel unit will also feature the Audi Valvelift System (AVS), which made its diesel debut in the SQ7, and feature the active anti-roll bars also first seen on its bigger sibling.
The current SQ5 is a popular model in the UK, where it accounts for 21% of overall Q5 sales.
The electrically powered compressor was a world first in a production vehicle when it launched in the SQ7. Because it does not require exhaust gas energy to develop boost, it can be used at any time, solving a key criticism of classic exhaust-gas turbochargers. Audi claims power can be delivered in less than 250 milliseconds, in effect removing turbo lag.
Will Nightingale and Richard Bremner