Audi UK has suspended sales of its warm SUV, the 2018 Audi SQ5, ahead of strict new emissions laws due to be enforced from September 1, 2018.
The official line is that all production slots have been filled, but the new WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure) appears to be the real reason.
“Audi UK has filled all the available SQ5 production slots in its 2018 model year allocation and only a limited number of cars remain in Audi centre stock,” Audi’s spokesperson said. “Customers looking to place an order can contact their local Audi centre for the latest inventory information.”
Autocar reports that sources close to the company have admitted that the WLTP standards require the SQ5 to have its engine conform to new emissions limits.
A similar thing happened with the Porsche Macan S Diesel, which was removed from sale after it was deemed unable to reach the new, stricter targets.
Part of the issue is that the WLTP standards require testing to be done in real-world driving, rather than in a lab.
The SQ5, which is built in Mexico, takes a while to reach the UK after it rolls off the production line, which means that gearing up to the WLTP targets will take some time. It makes sense, then, that Audi UK would suspend sales.
Autocar also reports that the SQ5 may be just the start of a long list of vehicles that may need to have sales halted before they can get a fix to comply with the emissions limits.