Audi has announced that it will debut a petrol-powered version of its upcoming SQ5 performance SUV at this month's Detroit Auto Show, providing a twin to the previously-revealed twin-turbo diesel model that was unveiled in mid-2012.
Powered by the same 3.0 litre supercharged V6 used by the S4, the petrol SQ5 boasts an increased peak power output of 260kW between 6000-6500rpm and 470Nm between 4000-4500rpm.
That's an increase of 15kW and 30Nm over the S4 and S5's version of the same engine.
Like its diesel counterpart, power is taken to all four wheels via an eight-speed tiptronic auto and quattro permanent AWD.
However, while power is 30kW higher than the diesel, the petrol has a sizable 180Nm shortfall in torque.
With the diesel's 650Nm torque output available between 1400-2500rpm, the diesel SQ5 has a definite edge in low-down tractability. The result is reduced straight-line performance for the petrol SQ5, with it knocking out a 0-100km/h time of 5.3 seconds - 0.2 seconds slower than the diesel.
As with the SQ5 diesel, the SQ5 petrol rides on a 30mm lower suspension and gets sport-tuned springs and dampers for a tauter ride. 20-inch wheels are standard, and are shod in big 255-section tyres.
Those preferring a bit more of a gangsta stance can opt for a set of 21-inch alloys.
Externally, the petrol SQ5 is almost identical to the petrol model. The only exception being a smattering of badges and different headlight housings with integrated orange clearance lights.
While European markets will get the diesel, the petrol SQ5 has been specifically designed with strong LHD markets in mind, like the United States, Canada, China, Russia, South Korea and South America.
RHD markets where it is legal to drive modern LHD cars, like Japan and Singapore, are also export destinations for the SQ5 petrol
Audi Australia General Manager of Corporate Communications Anna Burgdorf confirmed to TMR that the SQ5 is on track for a local launch in the second quarter of this year.
Ms Burgdorf also confirmed that the SQ5 will - for the time being - be a diesel-only proposition in Australia.
"The petrol engine at this stage isn’t developed for RHD markets," Ms Burgdorf said.
However she also mentioned that the Audi SQ5 will be able to use its sub-7.0 l/100km fuel consumption figure to dodge the luxury car tax, and get into Australian showrooms with a retail price of less than $100,000.
"One of the major highlights of Australia’s SQ5 is that it is the first ever TDI S models, offers extremely torquey performance and due to low fuel consumption is likely to be launched here under $100,000," Ms Burgdorf said.
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