The new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 has the same horsepower, but more torque than the previous supercharged engine.
Sharing the spotlight at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show with the Q8 concept is Audi’s new-for-2018MY SQ5, a go-faster version of the SUV’s second generation. Just like its predecessor, it gets an assortment of hardware upgrades to match the more aggressive exterior featuring a sportier front bumper with beefier vents to cool down the uprated engine. A platinum gray finish for the corporate singleframe front grille comes to further differentiate it from lesser members of the family.
Its heart and soul is no longer the supercharged 3.0-liter V6 as instead there’s now a new turbocharged 3.0-liter TFSI V6 with 354 horsepower (260 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) delivered to the Quattro system via an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox. If the output numbers seem familiar, that’s because the S4 and S5 models have the exact same engine.
Compared to the old version, the new SQ5 has an extra 23 lb-ft (31 Nm) of torque and welcomes a first-ever sport adaptive air suspension lowering the vehicle by 30 mm (1.1 inches) compared to the standard suspension, which by the way is also adaptive. It’s available by ordering the optional S sport package that also bundles a rear differential capable of splitting torque between one of the two wheels at the back and sending almost all of it to one wheel, if necessary. That rear differential should make the SQ5 tail-happy, if we were to rely on a report from October 2016.
Another ace up the model’s sleeve is the dynamic steering system able to modify the steering ratio based on speed and the enabled mode of the Audi drive select. Speaking of which, there are four of those: comfort, auto, dynamic and individual if you go for the standard suspension, while the sporty one adds allroad and lift/offroad modes.
In terms of performance, the 2018 Audi SQ5 will run from a standstill to 60 mph (96 kph) in 5.1 seconds and will continue to accelerate until the electronic top speed limiter is going to kick in at 155 mph (250 kph). These figures mirror those of its predecessor.
As you would imagine, the goodies available inside are very similar to those of the regular Q5, ranging from a fancy Bang & Olufsen sound system to 4G LTE connectivity. Audi will also throw in both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration to sweeten the deal, along with an SQ5-exclusive sport display mode for the all-digital instrument cluster a.ka Audi Virtual Cockpit. Buyers willing to go all out can also order a full-color head-up display and adaptive cruise control, just to name a few of the available extras.
Audi says it will have the 2018 SQ5 available in the U.S. of A. starting this spring, with pricing to be announced closer to the model’s launch. Just to get an idea about how much it will cost, the previous one kicked off at $53,300 in the Premium Plus trim and from $60,800 in the Prestige variant.
As a final note, we will have to wait and see whether the SQ5 will spawn once again a TDI-powered version for select markets. Even if it will, we're willing to bet it won't come to America.
Live Photos: Chris Amos / Motor1.com
Gallery: 2018 Audi SQ5
THE PERFECT BALANCE OF PERFORMANCE AND FUNCTIONALITY, ALL-NEW 2018 AUDI SQ5 MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT NAIAS
- The all-new SQ5 with 3.0-liter TFSI® engine produces 354 hp and sprints from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds
- Available for the first time with an adaptive air suspension, which allows for ride height and firmness adjustability, enabling a more dynamic drive
- The high-performance, sporty variant rounds out the Q5 family and will be available Spring 2017
HERNDON, Virginia, January 9, 2017 – With increased power, a new turbocharged V6 engine and a more progressive, sporty design, the all-new Audi SQ5 makes its global debut at the North American International Auto Show. New for 2018, the second-generation SQ5 offers a full suite of available driver assistance systems and advanced infotainment features, combined with a dynamic driving experience, to set a new standard in the luxury performance crossover segment.
2018 Audi SQ5
Featuring an all-new 3.0-liter TFSI® V6 engine, the Audi SQ5 produces 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, between a broad 1370 – 4500 rpm range. The eight-speed tiptronic® transmission is well suited for the low-end torque of the turbocharged V6 and its eight gears provide quick, smooth shifts.
Every Audi SQ5 is standard-equipped with quattro® all-wheel drive, offering high-precision and dynamic handling through active torque distribution to both axles. As part of the available S sport package, the SQ5 with quattro® sport rear differential can offer an even more dynamic driving experience by actively splitting torque between the wheels of the rear axle, with the ability to direct nearly all torque to one wheel, helping maximize driving dynamics.
CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION
For 2018, a newly developed front and rear suspension allows for both a sporty driving experience and more comfortable ride for long distances. The new front five-link suspension with lightweight construction offers greater steering precision and excellent handling through optimized steering-rack placement direct at wheel centers.
The available S sport package also includes, for the first time on the SQ5, a sport adaptive air suspension, which lowers vehicle height by 30 mm (when in auto mode) compared to the standard adaptive suspension. The air suspension system allows for adjustment of both the ride height and the firmness of the dampers, and is controllable via the standard Audi drive select.
Along with the standard four drive select modes – comfort, auto, dynamic and individual – the available sport adaptive air suspension also adds both an allroad and a lift/offroad mode, which raise the air suspension for increased ground clearance when needed.
Also available on 2018 SQ5 models is dynamic steering, which offers a variable steering ratio that adjusts based on vehicle speed and the Audi drive select setting. At higher driving speeds, dynamic steering helps to improve straight-line stability, and at lower driving speeds, a more direct steering ratio is utilized to help increase steering response for easy maneuvering.
The 2018 SQ5 mirrors the Q5’s distinctive Audi “Q” SUV design language, with a flat, coupe-like roof line coupled with a strong, wave-design shoulder line and pronounced wheel arches which emphasize the standard quattro® all-wheel drive.
The SQ5 is characteristically recognized by its sporty design differentiators including a platinum gray Singleframe® grille with aluminum optic double horizontal blade bars, aluminum optic exterior side mirrors, and S model rear roof spoiler. Sculpted, three-dimensional LED headlights flow in harmony with the clamshell hood to the wider horizontal rear of the vehicle and LED taillights with dynamic turn signals.
The interior offers improved space compared to the previous generation, with more rear legroom and shoulder room, as well as increased cargo capacity with the second row seats folded down. The SQ5 is also standard equipped with a three-spoke multifunction flat-bottom sport steering wheel, sport front seats with available diamond stitching, standard matte brushed aluminum inlays or available carbon atlas inlays and standard stainless steel door sill inlays with S badging. The asymmetrical center console of the interior creates a driver-focused cockpit while a small number of controls with expanded functionality helps bring a greater ease of operation into the SQ5.
INFOTAINMENT & DRIVER ASSISTANCE
The new SQ5 also offers advanced infotainment options including MMI® touch® with handwriting-recognition technology, Bang & Olufsen® sound system with 3D sound and standard Audi smartphone interface, which provides Apple CarPlay™ and Google™ Android Auto integration. Also available is the Audi virtual cockpit, which helps make viewing and navigating via the large Google Earth™ images supported with 4G LTE (where available) easier on the driver’s eyes. Unique to SQ5, the virtual cockpit features a “sport” display mode, which brings the tachometer and speedometer to the front and center of the display and adds a boost gauge and lap timer. Also available is a full-color head-up display which projects relevant driving information directly in the driver’s field of vision.
In addition to infotainment and connectivity features, the SQ5’s advanced driver assistance systems are designed to help drivers navigate the road and traffic with increased confidence. Standard Audi pre sense® city, an automatic emergency braking system, can help detect stationary vehicles and pedestrians, and if necessary, initiate full braking at speeds of up to 52 mph when a potential collision is detected. Standard Audi side assist provides blind spot monitoring via LED indicators on the exterior mirror housing and includes rear cross traffic assist, which supports the driver when reversing out of perpendicular space, and pre sense rear which helps monitor the traffic following the vehicle.
Also available is adaptive cruise control with stop & go automatically maintains distance from the vehicle in front, including braking and accelerating. Between 0-40 mph, traffic jam assist combines acceleration, braking and steering guidance, which can help decrease the stress of driving in congested traffic.
For more information, please visit www.audiusa.com.
Always pay careful attention to the road, and do not drive while distracted.
Driver assistance system availability and some available options may differ at launch. Driver assistance features are not substitutes for attentive driving. See Owner’s Manual for further details, and important limitations.
Audi connect should only be used when it is safe and appropriate. Audi connect services and features are optional, provided with the support of authorized affiliated and third party service providers, and may require additional subscriptions with separate terms and conditions. Services are subject to change, and Google Earth and Street view services may not be available after December 2017. Certain services collect location information, see Terms of Service for information about how to disable and for other details.
2018 EPA estimates not available at time of publication. See www.fueleconomy.gov for updated information. Your mileage will vary and depends on several factors including your driving habits and vehicle condition.