Audi TDI power flexes its considerable muscle both on and off the circuit in the previous weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans race as the new road-going SQ5 TDI makes its debut at the annual endurance marathon alongside the diesel-powered Audi R18 sports prototypes.

The new super-SUV will be notable as the first TDI-powered "S" model in the history of the Vorsprung durch Technik brand, and will offer a choice blend of 313PS and 39mpg capability. It is scheduled to open for UK order in October.

The 3.0-liter BiTDI engine powering the new SQ5 TDI produces a brawny 313PS and 650 Nm of torque between 1,450 and 2,800 rpm. Channelled through an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and via quattro all-wheel-drive it is good for a 0-62mph time of just 5.1 seconds and a governed 155mph top speed, and sounds every inch an ‘S’ model as it punches at the horizon thanks to a specially developed sound actuator in the exhaust system which enriches the exhaust note.

With the help of innovative thermal management, the engine start-stop system and a regulated oil pump, economy remains firmly in TDI territory, with up to 39.2mpg possible according to the combined cycle test.

The TDI unit more than makes the grade required for Audi "S" series performance thanks to its two turbochargers, which are connected in series via a flap. Cylinder head cooling, the timing and lift of the intake cam shafts, the pistons, their oil-jet cooling and the piston pins have also been specially designed for high performance. The common rail system develops as much as 2,000 bar of pressure and injects as many as eight shots of fuel into the cylinders per cycle.