The 2995cc all-aluminium turbo V6 that powers the SQ5 is quite a clever one. It uses Audi’s variable valve lift technology to run more efficiently under part loads by effectively shortening the engine’s induction stroke and running with a higher compression ratio.
Under wide throttle loads, the cam followers run over a different camshaft profile, returning to a longer induction stroke and a more normal compression ratio. And that allows this 1870kg SUV to combine a 349bhp peak power output and a 5.4sec 0-62mph claim with claimed combined fuel economy of 34.0mpg.
A 30bhp power deficit compared with the F-Pace 3.0 S doesn’t prevent the Audi from being marginally superior in both headline figures – and 20g/km kinder to the sky in CO2 emissions.
As before, the SQ5’s engine is mated as standard to an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox, which automatically switches to a freewheeling mode once you take your foot off the accelerator. The transmission feeds Audi’s traditional quattro all-wheel drive system rather than its new, clutch-based quattro ultra version.