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Audi SQ5 TDI Preview: 313-HP, Twin-Turbo Diesel Crossover

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Rumors of a performance diesel version of the Audi Q5 emerged just days ago, and now Audi has delivered the goods: the Audi SQ5, powered by a 313-horsepower, 479 pound-feet of torque twin-turbo 3.0-liter diesel V-6 engine.

That's a lot of grunt for a relatively compact crossover, and the performance shows it: top speed is limited to 155 mph and the SQ5 reaches 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 5.1 seconds--putting the 0-60 mph time likely just under five seconds flat. Brisk.

More good news: the SQ5 is rated at 32.67 U.S. mpg in combined tests. That's the real benefit of a torquey diesel--using lower gears to reduce fuel consumption. The SQ5's diesel is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive, too.

Outside of the diesel engine, the only real differences from the standard Q5 are some S-design elements, including black interior trim, power-adjust sport seats, leather upholstery, brushed aluminum inlays, S-badged instruments with gray dials and white needles, aluminum-look pedals and shift paddles, and S-branded treatments of the door sills, start button, steering wheel, and welcome screen. A wide range of interior materials and colors are available, and features can be customized to suit.

The Audi SQ5 will hit dealerships in the first quarter of 2013, according to Audi, with prices from €58,500.

Yep, that's the bad news: it doesn't look like this diesel crossover baddy will be visiting our shores any time soon.

Bummer.
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