That the 2017 Audi SQ5 is going to get more power than the current one isn't much of a surprise. What might me a bit more of a shock is that it will be getting an electric turbo to help it happen.
What used to be a joke has now been made real, thanks to advances in electronics and efficiency. An electric turbo on 12-volts is just a fan, but on Audi's new 48-volt system (first introduced on the 2016 Audi SQ7), it's a serious way to reduce lag and increase power. The electric turbo operates in series with a conventional exhaust driven turbo and is able to spin up almost instantly. It gives the 3.0L diesel V6 boost in just 250 milliseconds while the engine waits for enough exhaust flow to spin the regular turbo.
Oliver Hoffmann, Audi powertrain chief, told Autocar that up to 390 hp was possible from the new engine but suggested that driveability was also important, meaning that output would likely be slightly lower. Still, where 390 hp would be a jump of 55 horses over the existing diesel even 365 hp would still be a noticeable increase, and more than the 354 hp our current gas model gets. The engine will also get Audi's Valve Lift variable valve lift system.
The new SQ5 is expected to debut early next year.