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.

2018 Audi SQ5: Detroit 2017
2018 Audi SQ5: Detroit 2017

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.

2018 Audi SQ5
2018 Audi SQ5

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.

Source: Audi

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Live Photos: Chris Amos /


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