As we were preparing our content for the newly released Audi Q5 facelift, we noticed a bit of an oddity with some of the information. Specifically, our own Adrian noticed that the Audi SQ5 was said to be 0.4 seconds faster to 60 mph than the outgoing model, despite not having any more power and being the same weight. That seemed peculiar, so we reached out to Audi USA to ask why it was faster. According to Audi unnamed Audi engineers, it’s due to different gearing.
Apparently, the Audi SQ5 gets shorter gearing in its lower gears, to help give it that faster 0-60 mph time (now 4.7 seconds). A few tenths might not sound like a lot but half of a second isn’t an insignificant amount of time in the car world. On a race track, half a second can make all the difference in the world. So just that bit of extra gearing will go a long way to making the 2021 SQ5 seem faster.
One other potential difference the updated gearing will make is with throttle tip-in. We’ve noticed when driving any modern Audi ‘S’ cars, with the 3.0 liter turbocharged V6, that they tend to be a bit sluggish on initial throttle application and that they have a bit of turbo-lag down low in the rev range. It’s a good engine but it feels gutless under 2,500 rpm, which is admittedly a small window and not a huge deal but it’s still noticeable every now and again. This new gearing could help fix that.
It also shows that Audi was willing to make small changes that it didn’t have to make to really improve the car. Audi must have been listening to fans and customer complaints, as it could have left the gearing along, exactly as it was, and almost no one would have even thought to say anything.
The Audi SQ5 was a good car before its facelift and now it should be a much better one. Not only is it better (arguably) looking but it has an improved interior, far superior technology than before but it’s also faster, should have better throttle response and less turbo-lag. We want to drive it now and see if we can feel the difference.