U.S. version of Audi’s SQ5 to run on gas, not diesel

Audi SQ5 gray background front three quarter viewAudi unveiled the SQ5, a performance version of its Q5 crossover with a 3.0-liter TDI diesel, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in June, but the company’s plans have changed. Despite a recently announced blitz of TDI diesel models in the U.S., Audi will equip the SQ5 with a gasoline engine for the American and Chinese markets.

Audi isn’t saying why it made the change; the only reason we know about the gasoline SQ5 is because a parts catalog was leaked. What we do know is that, whatever is under the hood, the SQ5 will be the first crossover to wear Audi’s “S” performance badge.

As with the SQ5 TDI, the new version’s engine displaces 3.0 liters. However, it comes from Audi’s TFSI line, and has one supercharger instead of two turbochargers. From the specs, this looks like the same engine Audi puts in its A6 midsize luxury sedan.

The gasoline-powered SQ5 is expected to produce 354 horsepower, compared to the TDI’s 313 hp. With the extra power, it should be interesting to see if this SQ5 can best the TDI’s 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 kph) time of 5.1 seconds.

The only available transmission will be a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual, which will send power to all four wheels through Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.

If Audi really does sell the SQ5 in the U.S., it will reportedly import the petrol powered model only. That seems like a safe bet on the company’s part: Americans have not given diesel the widespread acceptance it has in Europe, and the SQ5 is already an unusual proposition.

Audi SQ5 gray background rear three quarter viewMost performance crossovers are based on larger chassis and use raw power to overcome the laws of physics. The Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 M, and Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG defy their SUV bulk with mind-bending performance numbers.

The SQ5 will have plenty of power (the most powerful stock Q5 only has 270 hp), but it won’t be as bombastic as those larger crossovers. With its smaller packaging, the SQ5 will be more about finesse and balance.

It will be interesting to see whether this new crossover permutation grows into a new market segment, or whether Audi customers ask for more S4s instead.

Audi has not announced a release date for the SQ5 but, with the Los Angeles and Detroit auto shows coming up, the company has a couple of good opportunities to showcase a new addition to its U.S. lineup.

Emerging Tech

Will we ever fly supersonic again? Unraveling the concorde’s complex legacy

In a new book, Last Days of the Concorde, journalist and author Samme Chittum delves into the mindset that inspired engineers to design this marvel, the series of events that led to its fatal crash, and the possibility that commercial SSTs…
Cars

Vanderhall Carmel adds creature comforts to the basic three-wheeler formula

The Vanderhall Carmel is the fifth three-wheeler from Utah-based Vanderhall Motor Works. It takes the basic design of the Vanderhall Venice and adds a handful of creature comforts, as well as a more powerful engine.
Cars

2019 Chevrolet Silverado gets serious about MPG with new four-cylinder engine

In an aggressive bid to improve fuel economy, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado will be offered with a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Chevy claims comparable performance to other Detroit automakers' V6 trucks.
Cars

From salt flats to sand dunes, adventuring off-grid in Audi’s electric E-Tron

Digital Trends traveled to the Namibian desert to get an early taste of the all-electric 2019 Audi e-tron. We drove prototypes on a variety of terrains, including dunes and a salt pan.
Cars

A public/private autonomous driving institute blooms under the Arizona sun

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM), partnering government, academic, and private organizations to develop self-driving tech and safety standards. Intel is the first private-sector member.
Cars

Ford imagines a future without traffic lights or stop signs

Ford is using vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) tech to allow cars to pass through intersections without stopping. The experimental "Intersection Priority Management" system basically acts as air traffic control for cars.
Product Review

The 2019 Volvo V60 proves it's still cool to drive a station wagon

With the 2019 V60, Volvo argues the station wagon segment isn't as moribund as most other automakers say it is. The company goes as far as arguing we're on the cusp of a wagon revival, and the V60 is poised to lead the charge.
Cars

The supersized BMW X7 is coming with a grille you can park a 2 Series on

BMW will soon expand its lineup with a new range-topping SUV named the X7. The first-ever BMW X7 is shaping up to be the 7 Series of the SUV world in terms of size, price, and image.
Cars

Can't see all of a sudden? Our quick guide on defogging your car windows

Did you suddenly lose exterior visibility while driving because of foggy windows? Don't panic! Here's our quick guide on defogging your car windows in a safe manner while on the go, and a few steps on how to prevent them.
Product Review

Volvo’s redesigned 2019 S60 sedan is the best kind of remix

The 2019 Volvo S60 borrows almost everything from other recent Volvo models, but that’s not a problem. From its infotainment system to an available plug-in hybrid powertrain, the S60 takes the best bits from a lineup of great cars.
Cars

Carbuying can be exhausting: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.
Cars

Are European-style self-dimming and glare-free headlights coming to the U.S.?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposes to allow adaptive LED headlights on vehicles sold in the U.S. Adaptive LEDs automatically lower headlight intensity when they detect pedestrians or oncoming vehicles.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Porsche upgrades German factory to build Taycan electric cars

A Porsche factory that currently builds the automaker's popular sports cars will soon begin churning out Taycan electric cars. In preparation, Porsche is upgrading the factory to be high tech and low emissions.