PERFORMANCE without compromise is the premise behind the Audi SQ5.
Combining the ability of a sports car with an SUV, this has been one of our favourite cars to ever grace the garage.
The new turbocharged six-pot petrol engine is marginally slower than the previous variant - but we're only talking a couple of tenths.
Among the big gains are more feel through the steering wheel along with the trusted punch under throttle.
Sprinting from 0-100km/h in less than six seconds it's still enough to plant a smile on the driver's face with each prod of the right pedal.
There's also a lovely burble at start-up and in dynamic mode which points to its dexterity.
Yet the launch of the second generation is tinged with some sadness.
This new model is good, outstandingly impressive, in fact.
Although we can't help pine for the biturbo diesel variant with is copious torque on tap and outstanding economy figures.
Audi Australia's product planner Peter Strudwicke said they will certainly take an oil-burner version if it becomes available, but at this stage petrol is the only option.
Volkwagen (Audi's parent company) has ensured diesels are still on the nose somewhat. Nevertheless the SQ5 maintains its outstanding ability and weighs in at 130kg lighter than its predecessor.
It grips, accelerates and corners like a passenger car.
Combine that with lavish finishes like Nappa leather trim with diamond patterns on the seats, matt brush aluminium cabin inlays, 21-inch alloys, flat-bottom steering wheel, adaptive dampers and bigger brakes along with sports suspension - it's much more than superficial skirts and flash rubber.
At a glance
PRICE $99,611 before on-roads.
ENGINE 3.0-litre six-cyl 260kW/500Nm.
TRANSMISSION Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive.
THIRST 8.7 litres/100km (combined average).
0-100KM/H 5.4 seconds.
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