2017 Audi RS Q5 scores 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6

2016 Audi R8

AUDI engineers are currently engaged in final chassis tuning of the SQ5 before launching the hot new SUV crossover in late 2017.

The S variant is set to get a more potent 3.0-litre V6 petrol and diesel engines, though Audi Australia has yet to make a decision on which version/s will come here. The new 3.0-litre TFSI SQ5 takes the 265kW V6 from the S5, while the TDI is expected to make 260kW. The first generation SQ5, powered by a 3.0-litre TDI made 250kW and hit 100km/h in 5.1 seconds. Both second generation petrol and diesels versions are expected to drop below the 5.0-second 100km/h sprint time.

Both Audi’s steel and optional air suspension are in the S pipeline, with the variable ratio dynamic steering and a diff lock as standard. Final specifications won’t be decided for Australia until much closer to the launch, though 20-inch wheels are predicted to fill out the wheel arches.

At the same time, Ingolstadt insiders say the company is also working on a super-fast RS Q5, powered by a 335kW twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 that’s aimed squarely at the Porsche Macan Turbo. This is essentially the same 550Nm Porsche engine (basically six cylinders of Porsche’s 4.0-litre V8) used in the new Panamera 4S.

There’s talk of 0-100km/h in a blistering 4.5 seconds from this top-of-the-line model that our sources say is almost certain to come to Australia, though possibly not before 2019.

The same engine is expected to make its Audi debut in either the RS version of the Audi A5, or the entry-level R8 where it replaces the 4.2-litre V8

At local launch in July/August 2017, the Q5 arrives with petrol and diesel 2.0-litre engines, with a 3.0-litre V6 due late in the year.

Still unconfirmed is the plug-in hybrid boasting the familiar 185kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder supported by a punchy electric power pack. Since the all-electric 2018 Q6 e-tron is based loosely on the Q5, there is probably not enough room for a smaller battery-electric crossover vehicle. According to the Ingolstadt grapevine, the same components set will yield the ESS, short for "Electric Super Saloon", which effectively looks like a Q6 coupe. Also on the cards, reportedly only for China, is a long-wheelbase Q5.

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