While we’re scratching our heads to figure out what sort of R8 will be introduced next week at the Paris Motor Show, Audi is taking us by surprise with the unveiling of the SQ2. We were expecting the punchy crossover to debut soon, but without any teasers revealed, we figured it wouldn’t be in France’s capital. It turns out we were wrong as the spicy S version of the company’s smallest crossover is here, complete with 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque.
If these output numbers ring a bell, it’s because the SQ2 borrows the S3’s turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine. In the feisty crossover, the TFSI unit is good enough to enable a sprint from zero to 62 mph (100 kph) in 4.8 seconds and a top speed electronically governed at 155 mph (250 kph). As you’d come to expect from an S-badged Audi, the four-cylinder mill sends its power to all four wheels, with the Quattro system being linked to a dual-clutch, seven-speed S Tronic gearbox.
Equipped with either 18- or 19-inch wheels, the new Audi SQ2 rides 20 millimeters (0.8 inches) lower than the lesser models thanks to a stiffer sports suspension making the petite crossover more agile around the corners. Being the range-topping model, it makes perfect sense the vehicle has been fitted with a more generous array of standard equipment, including LED headlights and taillights.
With great power comes great responsibility, so Audi decided to fit the SQ2 with bigger 340-mm front and 310-mm brakes, with the S-labeled brake calipers optionally available in red instead of the standard black finish. You also get the fancy digital instrument cluster with an S-specific start screen reminding you every time you fire up the engine it’s more than just a run-of-the-mill Q2.
We shall see the SQ2 at the Paris Motor Show beginning with next Tuesday when Audi will also take the wraps off that mysterious R8. By the way, we’re inclined to believe it’s a race car rather than the road-going R8 facelift.
Gallery: Audi SQ2 at the Paris Motor Show
AUDI Q2 JOINS THE S SERIES – NEW 300PS SQ2 MAKES ITS DEBUT
Potent 300PS version of compact class SUV to be unveiled at the 2018 Paris Motor Show
- New S model with output of 300PS; 0 to 62mph in 4.8 seconds
- Available to order in the UK in late 2018, first deliveries early 2019
- Striking exterior design, S-specific interior accents
- Body lowered 20 millimetres, 18 and 19-inch wheels
Ingolstadt, September 28, 2018 – Striking design meets driving exhilaration: Audi is presenting the SQ2 for the first time during the 2018 Paris Motor Show. The new top model in the Q2 family is a titan in the compact SUV segment, with a 300PS output channelled through S sports suspension and quattro all-wheel-drive which enables zero to 62mph acceleration in 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. The Audi SQ2 is also at the forefront in the class where infotainment and assistance systems are concerned.
0 – 62mph in 4.8 seconds: the engine
The heart of any Audi S model is the engine, and the 2.0 TFSI in the SQ2 is in peak condition. Developed by Audi engineers and built in Győr, it delivers 300PS and a constant 400 Nm (295.0 lb-ft) of torque between 2,000 and 5,200 rpm. As a result it can dispatch the sprint from 0 to 62mph in 4.8 seconds, and power on to a governed 155mph top speed.
The four-cylinder, 1,984 cc unit responds instantly up to the redline at 6,500 rpm. In the dynamic mode offered by the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, it responds even more directly, with brief double de-clutching accompanying the gear changes by the S tronic and a particularly sonorous engine note. The engine weighs only around 150 kilograms, benefiting not only the all-up weight of the Audi SQ2, but also the axle load distribution.
Numerous high-tech features hone the profile of the powerful four-cylinder. The intake and exhaust camshafts are adjustable to optimise fill and gas exchange. On the exhaust side, the Audi valvelift system (AVS) adjusts valve lift in two stages based on demand. This reduces flushing losses in the combustion chamber and ensures optimal flow of exhaust gas to the turbocharger, particularly in the low rpm range. The advantages of this are agile engine response and a further increase of torque. Controlled by a fast and precise electric overflow valve, the turbocharger develops its maximum boost of 1.4 bar (relative) very dynamically. This engine management system enhances efficiency and reduces fuel consumption during operation under part load.
Efficiency is also a major focal point with the 2.0 TFSI. Two electrically powered rotary valves consolidated into a module regulate the coolant flows. Another major component of the thermal management system is the exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head. It helps the engine to warm up quickly.
Targeted measures implemented in many components increase strength and reduce internal friction. The regulated oil pump requires little drive energy. Under part load, the engine management system deactivates FSI direct fuel injection. Instead, fuel is injected indirectly into the intake manifold, which reduces particle emissions. A particle filter also cleans the exhaust gas.
Traction, stability and handling: the power transmission
A seven-speed S tronic with a wide ratio of 8.7 between the first and last gears transfers the power of the 2.0 TFSI. The driver can operate the lightning-fast dual-clutch transmission in the automatic modes D or S, or shift ‘manually’. If the Audi drive select dynamic handling system is in “efficiency” mode, the clutch disengages when coasting, allowing the compact sport SUV to freewheel. With start-stop active, the engine shuts off when speed drops to 4mph or below.
The seven-speed S tronic’s two clutches are in an oil bath. A small, mechanically driven gear pump supplies them with oil. At elevated demand, a second, electrically driven pump is activated. This efficient oil supply and the low friction of the individual components result in high efficiency.
As with every Audi S model, quattro all-wheel drive is standard in the SQ2. It combines high traction with compelling handling. Its central element is a hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch. It distributes torque continuously between the axles. If the front wheels lose grip, the multi-plate clutch can transfer up to 100 percent of the force to the rear within just a few milliseconds.
The electronic controller supporting the quattro system provides for the ultimate in driving enjoyment and safety. During sporty driving, it can direct torque to the rear axle as soon as the driver turns the wheel. Under acceleration, the torque literally pushes the fast SUV into the bend. The quattro management system enables precise turn-in during load reversal, and provides maximum control and reliability when drifting on a low-friction road surface. During fast driving, the quattro drive works closely together with the wheel-selective torque control, which smooths out the handling with tiny braking interventions at the inner wheels under reduced load.
20 millimetres lower: the S sport suspension
With a more dynamic setup than the system on which it is based, the S sports suspension lowers the body by 20 millimetres. The power assistance of the standard progressive steering has an S-specific characteristic. Its rack is specially geared so that the boost ratio changes the further the wheel is turned – the greater the steering angle, the more direct the ratio. This improves agility when manoeuvring, in urban traffic and in tight bends.
Typical S model: the exterior design
The ‘standard’ Audi Q2 is already an SUV with a very distinctive character. The precise body line, the polygonal indentation on the flanks and the blade on the C-pillar give it an unmistakable appearance. Audi has further honed the exterior design for the S model. The front end alone indicates the special position it occupies. Eight upright double bars divide the large, octagonal Singleframe grille. A front splitter joins the outermost edges of the two dominating air inlets to underscore the full width of the brawny SQ2 front end. The standard LED headlights and LED rear lights with dynamic indicators radiate a characteristic, arrow-shaped light signature
Striking details also set accents on the flanks and at the rear. The trim strips in the lower region of the doors are strongly contoured; the exterior mirror housings sport an aluminium-look finish. A long roof edge spoiler provides for sufficient downforce; the diffuser insert houses four exhaust tailpipes. The exterior colour palette includes the standard ibis white and the optional colours Vegas yellow, ara blue, Daytona grey, floret silver, glacier white, coral orange, mythos black, quantum grey and tango red.
With a drag coefficient of 0.34, the Audi SQ2 glides easily through the wind. The noise level on-board remains low thanks to the vibration-optimised body and Audi’s high level of competence in aeroacoustics. A structure of hot-shaped steels, which combine extreme strength with low weight, forms the strong backbone of the passenger cell and is responsible for the high rigidity of the entire body.
The standard Audi drive select dynamic handling system lets the driver choose between the profiles auto, comfort, dynamic, efficiency and individual. It uses these profiles to manage the character of the steering, the seven-speed S tronic and additional systems. A button allows the driver to set the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) to off-road mode or turn it off entirely. Hold assist is available as an option.
The range of wheels available from Audi and Audi Sport offers a choice of ten designs and sizes. 18-inch alloy wheels with size 235/45 tyres are standard; 19-inch wheels with size 235/40 tyres will be available as an option The large brakes measure 340 millimetres in diameter up front and 310 millimetres in the rear. They are particularly durable, and their calipers – optionally painted red rather than black – have S badges.
Dynamic accents: the interior
The compact Audi SQ2 has an exterior length of 4,210 millimetres and a wheelbase of 2,594 millimetres, allowing for a spacious interior. The luggage compartment has a volume of 355 to 1,000 litres depending on the position of the two or three-way split rear backrests. Standard equipment includes sport seats, a front centre armrest, automatic air conditioning, a sport multifunction steering wheel – optionally with paddles for the S tronic – and the driver information system with colour display.
The optional Audi virtual cockpit which forms part of the Technology Pack replaces the driver information system. The driver controls the fully digital instrument cluster via buttons on the steering wheel. The 12.3-inch display offers three different views, including a screen that places the rev counter front and centre. The most important information is also visible in a head-up display, another option.
The interior design takes up the progressive, taut lines of the exterior and uses colours and materials to set dynamic accents. The headlining, pillars and seat upholstery are finished in black as standard. The decorative inlay on the instrument panel is matt brushed aluminium. The pedal caps and the footrest are made of stainless steel; the illuminated door sill trims up front sport S logos. The instrument dials are grey and the needles white. The MMI monitor and the display in the instrument cluster or Audi virtual cockpit show S-specific start screens when the ignition is switched on.
The seats of the Audi SQ2 are trimmed in a combination of leather and fabric as standard. A leather/Alcantara mix or fine Nappa leather will be optionally available. Accent stripes, contrasting stitching in red and grey, plus embossed S logos round out the range. In addition to black, the fine Nappa leather upholstery is available in two colours (black with red) and with a rhombus pattern. There are two options for the decorative inlay: a red anodised paint finish and the illuminated version “Format light graphics” (with the ten-colour ambient lighting package). Other options include air vents with red interior rings and the flat-bottomed steering wheel with shift paddles.
Top connectivity: MMI navigation plus and Audi connect
As in the Audi Q2, the infotainment range in the SQ2 covers a broad matrix. At the top is the MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. Its menus are clearly structured, and the rotary pushbutton on the centre tunnel console includes a touchpad that also enables multi-finger scrolling and zooming. Voice control and MMI search are also fast and reliable. Just a few letters or words are usually enough to achieve the desired result. The MMI navigation plus has an 8.3-inch display; the data transmission module supports the fast LTE wireless standard and includes a Wi-Fi hotspot for the passengers’ mobile devices.
MMI navigation plus also includes the Audi connect package (optional with MMI navigation). A SIM card permanently installed in the car, the Audi connect SIM, brings numerous online services on board, including traffic information online, navigation with Google Earth, travel and parking information and access to Twitter and email. The free myAudi app connects the owner’s smartphone with the car. It enables such functions as online media streaming and transferring the calendar to the MMI.
The infotainment range in the Audi SQ2 includes such components as the Audi smartphone interface. It integrates iOS and Android mobile phones with their Apple CarPlay and Android Auto environments into the MMI system. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System features a 705 Watt amplifier driving 14 speakers. Anodised aluminium clasps frame the woofers. LED light guides radiate white light.
Technologies from the full-size class: the driver assistance systems
The driver assistance systems for the Audi SQ2 come from the full-size class. Audi pre sense front is standard and uses radar to recognise hazardous situations that can occur with crossing pedestrians or other vehicles in front of the car. The system warns the driver acoustically and visually, and initiates emergency braking if necessary. This can help to avoid or reduce the severity of a collision.
Other assistance technology highlights include adaptive cruise control with stop & go function and the traffic jam assist, which in addition to the radar sensor also uses the front camera. At speeds up to 40mph on well-developed roads, it can assist with steering, accelerating and braking.
Audi active lane assist helps the driver to stay in the driving lane. The optional park assist can automatically steer the compact sport SUV into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces. Cross traffic assist rear comes into play when the driver wants to reverse out of a perpendicular parking spot. Another assist function is Audi side assist. In conjunction with the radar sensor, it displays a visual warning in the respective exterior mirror to alert the driver of a potential hazard when changing lanes.
The new Audi SQ2 is being presented for the first time during the 2018 Paris Motor Show at the beginning of October. It will become available to order in the UK in late 2018 ahead of first UK deliveries in early 2019.