Power comes from a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine that develops 309bhp and 479lb ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive are standard.
Audi quotes a 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph. Average fuel economy is 39.2mpg.
Lowered suspension is designed to give improved handling and a more purposeful look. There's a sporty makeover, too, that includes 20-inch alloy wheels (21-inch versions are an option), black brake callipers with S badging, a bespoke grille, high-gloss exterior trim, aluminium-look door mirrors, new bumpers and a roof spoiler. Special 'crystal-effect' paint options are available, in Estoril Blue or Panther Black.
The 2012 Audi SQ5 TDI is the car maker's first diesel-powered 'S' performance model
Bespoke interior features include electrically adjustable sports seats, brushed aluminium trim, grey instrument dials with white needles, S badges and a specially shaped steering wheel.
The SQ5 TDI will be available to order from October, and will cost from around 44,000. First deliveries are expected in spring 2013.
A special-edition version - called SQ5 TDI Audi exclusive concept - will be on display at the 2012 Paris motor show later this month. It has special paintwork and interior trim, and a limited run of 50 of these will be sold in Europe in early 2013. Audi says there are no plans for this model to be sold in the UK, however.