While it was somewhat overshadowed by the full-size Q8 concept, Audi also revealed the newest version of their SQ5 high-performance compact crossover in Detroit. Based on the slightly larger new second generation 2018 Audi Q5, the SQ5 loses weight, gains power, and adds more of Audi’s newest safety, infotainment, and tech features.
The new SQ5 weighs 35 kg less than the old model. That’s a result of a mix of aluminum and high-strength steel, but nearly half of the weight savings actually comes from the new engine. The turbocharged V6 drops 14 kg compared with the previous supercharged engine. The new engine produces 354 hp and 369 lb-ft from 3.0L of displacement. It also has separate cooling circuits for the cylinder head and the crankcase. That lets the computer route coolant to optimize temperatures and efficiency.
The transmission is an eight-speed automatic and there is quattro all-wheel drive with a slight rear bias to route power for optimal grip and handling. An available sport differential in the rear can distribute torque between the rear wheels to control under and oversteer.
Inside is the newest version of Audi’s MMI system. It’s controlled through an 8.3-inch display. The system can recognize not just touch gestures like pinch to zoom, but also handwritten inputs. In front of the driver is Audi’s virtual cockpit which displays all of the dashboard information, along with a number of other configurable elements, on a 12.3-inch monitor.
The driver and front passenger sit in S sport seats with available massage function. Trim is brushed aluminum with a choice of wood and carbon accents available.
The body gains larger wheels, new sportier bumpers front and rear along with new air inlets and a honeycomb grille. The main grille has new aluminum slats and matte grey trim.
The Audi SQ5 will launch later this year, with pricing available closer to the on-sale date.
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