High-tech parts for the rear differential, suspension, and adaptive power steering should make the sporty crossover quite a sharp handler
If you’re in the market for a vehicle that can drift but it has to be a crossover, we’re a little confused by your priorities. However, Audi is developing a solution to this weird dilemma. An unnamed senior engineer working on the next-gen SQ5 (standard model pictured in gallery) tells Autocar the company is making sure drivers can slide the sporty CUV when it goes on sale next year.
A specially tuned rear differential for the Quattro all-wheel-drive system will be the key to producing a crossover that can hang its tail out. Unfortunately, some SQ5s might not be so exciting because Autocar reports the part might be an option.
Buyers will need to tick a few more option boxes for all of the SQ5's high-tech mechanical parts. For example, customers will be able to spec an air suspension and adaptive dampers as a replacement for the traditional combination of springs and shocks. An adaptive power steering setup will also be available for keeping that lively rear end under control.
Audi will offer the SQ5 with a diesel- or a gasoline-fueled V6 depending on the market, according to Autocar. The powerplants' specs remain a mystery, though. The turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with 354 horsepower (260 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) from the latest S4 and S5 would seem like an obvious choice for the petrol version. The diesel is a bigger enigma, but one rumor suggests it might pair a traditional turbo with an electric compressor like the latest SQ7.
With the standard Q5’s debut out of the way, we should see the SQ5 sometime next year. According to Autocar, Audi’s engineers are about to take the crossover to Sweden for some testing on ice. If development is still underway, then we suspect it could be several months into 2017 before this nimble crossover debuts in production guise.