Hermann J. Müller (copy) & Sven Hoffmann (photos)
The Romans knew the importance of a healthy mind in a healthy body. The ideal was an active mind coupled with an athletic physique. Add to that technical capabilities, and you have what might be called a model athlete. Viewed in these terms, the Audi SQ5 TFSI truly mirrors the classic ideal. It has it all — power, intelligence and beauty. Its three-liter V6 TFSI engine produces a jaw-dropping 260 kilowatts that packs a real punch in terms of response. From 1,370 to 4,500 revs per minute, it delivers a constant 500 newton-meters of torque and, in tandem with a fast, smooth-shifting eight-speed tiptronic, can accelerate the car from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in 5.4 seconds. Can is the operative word — it doesn’t have to: Staying balanced in every situation, the high-performance power plant is just as suitable for sprinting as for relaxed cruising. Yet in every respect it’s more efficient than its counterpart in the predecessor model.
This efficiency boost is, among other factors, down to intelligent optimization of engine management. This includes a new combustion process which, thanks to a shortened compression phase, permits a much higher base compression and thus enhances efficiency — as does the innovative thermal management system: The crankcase and cylinder head have separate coolant circuits. This helps the engine to heat up faster after a cold start. As soon as the engine is warm, the system reduces the exhaust temperature. The result is lower fuel consumption, particularly during sporty driving. The six-cylinder aluminum engine’s spontaneous response is facilitated by a turbocharger operating on the twin-scroll principle, in which the exhaust branches merge directly ahead of the turbine to provide improved flow characteristics. Fourteen kilograms less weight in the engine alone also do their bit. Overall, the new Audi SQ5 TFSI is up to 35 kilograms lighter than its predecessor. That also makes itself felt in terms of agility.