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Audi Q5 Sportback: No 50 TDI for now despite strong diesel sales forecast

The 2022 Audi Q5 Sportback has lobbed in Australia with a three-variant range, including a flagship SQ5 TDI performance variant, but unlike its SUV twin there won’t be a lower-spec V6 diesel variant – at least for now.

Peter Strudwicke, product planning manager for Audi Australia, said: “We made a choice at the moment to not include the 50 TDI as the Sportback is a smaller volume model and we anticipate more buyers to step up to the SQ5 TDI”.

Currently there’s no variant filling the $25,000 void between the Q5 Sportback 45 TFSI quattro S line ($86,300) and the SQ5 Sportback TDI ($110,900).

Despite a 50 TDI quattro V6 diesel and a pair of TFSI e plug-in hybrids available overseas, there’s no plans to bring them here for the time being.

The standard Q5 SUV, meanwhile, offers a 50 TDI quattro S line ($91,000) at the top of the non-performance line-up, plugging the gap between the 45 TFSI quattro Sport ($77,600) and SQ5 TDI ($106,500).

Audi Australia expects the Q5 Sportback sales split to be 15 per cent 40 TDI, 50 per cent 45 TFSI and 35 per cent SQ5 TDI – meaning an even 50:50 ratio of diesel and petrol sales.

Mr Strudwicke noted that, while we’re seeing a decline in diesel sales across the industry and subsequently the withdrawal of diesel variants in many models, the Q5 family still posts a strong mix of diesel sales.

“There’s still definitely an appetite for diesel at this end of the market. Standard Q5 has a diesel uptake of around 20 per cent,” he said.

Further, Audi’s local corporate communications boss, Shaun Cleary, added it’s a trend reflected across the brand’s crossover line-up.

“Strong mix of diesel sales is something that’s consistent across the Audi SUV range,” Mr Cleary said.

It’s worth highlighting that despite the strong mix of TDI sales, Audi’s entry-level Q2 and Q3 SUVs have had diesel options removed from the local line-up.

As for plug-in hybrids, Audi Australia says it’s still ‘evaluating’ its global PHEV portfolio for the Australian market, though there’s no official confirmation if, or when we might see various TFSI e models Down Under.

The Q5 and Q5 Sportback are both available with 220kW 50 TFSI e and 270kW 55 TFSI e plug-in hybrid options, both offering up to 61 kilometres of zero-emissions range from their 14.4kWh (net) lithium batteries.

Buyers hungry for a high-performance petrol could be well-served by the 55 TFSI e given the discontinuation of the pre-facelift SQ5 TFSI, which is capable of hitting 100km/h from rest in 5.3 seconds – just 0.2 seconds slower than the SQ5 TDI.

Other Audi lines with PHEV power available overseas include the A3, A6, A7, A8, Q3, Q7 and Q8. So far, none are confirmed for Australia, even tentatively.

“We’re looking at PHEVs across the Audi range. We haven’t made any announcements yet,” Mr Cleary told media during the Q5 Sportback media launch.

MORE: Everything Audi Q5

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