For years Audi watched as its arch rivals BMW and Mercedes raked in profits from the SUV segment with their BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK respectively. However, in 2005, the automaker entered into the SUV fray with the Q7. Three years later Audi launched the Q5 and another 4 years later the automaker launched a performance version of the Q5 dubbed the SQ5.
Fast forward, the 2017 model SQ5 will be offered in two trim levels (the base Premium Plus and the top Prestige trim) just like the outgoing model. As of this writing, we have not had a glimpse of the new model. What we know is that its sibling, the standard Q5 is already undergoing testing in German roads. According to rumors, the SQ5 will be unveiled after the standard Q5. Nevertheless, Audi might be testing it camouflaged as the standard model.
Despite the lack of information, our engineers have managed to come up with a rendering of what we believe the SQ5 will look like. Read along to find out more;
2016 Audi SQ5
2017 Audi SQ5 Exterior
As said earlier, the exterior profile of the 2017 Audi SQ5 is still a mystery. Going by the recent spy shots of the standard Q5 and the design language of the current A4 and Q7, we can predict that the SQ5 will adopt similar cues. The overall size and shape won’t change much though.
The front and rear fascias will have sharper lines. The signature honeycomb grille will be retained of course. The grille will be flanked by headlights that are more angular. The front fascia will also feature a revised bumper, enlarged air vents and redesigned LED fog lights.
We expect the sides to be more aggressive with chrome accenting on the door locks, window frames and on the side mirrors. The rear on the other hand will feature redesigned exhaust tips as well as a large diffuser. The rear bumper will also be revised and the vehicle will feature angular taillights similar to the headlights.
2017 Audi SQ5 Interior
The cabin of the new SQ5 will be similar to that of the outgoing model. However, the new styling cues of the A4 and Q7 will also find their way into the 2017 SQ5 cabin. Expect a classic black interior trim. The seats will be upholstered with a mix of Nappa and Alcantara leather. The mid-size SUV will have sufficient seating space and cargo room.
The current dashboard will be replaced by a cleaner unit that will feature a continuous air-vent strip running from the revised instrument cluster to the front passenger door. In addition, expect an uncluttered center stack, a much wider center console, and an upgraded steering wheel.
The infotainment system will be controlled via a freestanding display screen. Other features will include an upgraded air conditioning unit with fewer controls. Aluminum inserts on the console and center stack, sports seats and aluminum shift paddles will be offered too.
For safety, the SQ5 will be equipped with stability and traction control, ABS, enhanced seatbelts and airbags and a full package of driving aids.
Engine Specs and Performance
The automaker is yet to announce the official drive-train that will power the 2017 Audi SQ5. However, we expect the performance crossover to retain the supercharged 3.0 L V-6 powering the current model.
The engine will, however, feature subtle improvements in output and on its fuel economy. As such, the upgraded engine will produce around 370 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque. The current model produces 354 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque. The engine will be paired with an 8-speed Tiptronic transmission system which sends power to Audi’s Quattro AWD system.
The engine powers the crossover to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds towards a 155 mph top speed. Official EPA ratings are not out but the vehicle is expected to return 24 mpg in city and 30 mpg on highway drives.
Price and release date
It is way too early to expect Audi to release official information regarding the Audi SQ5 2017. We expect the model to cost slightly more than the outgoing SQ5. A starting price of around $ 54,000 for the base Premium Plus trim is likely.
The more equipped Prestige trim could start at around $ 62,000 MSRP. As for the release date, expect to see the model on the streets in the first half of 2017. However, Audi could still surprise us with an early release late this year. Keep it here for the latest updates on this Audi SUV.
When it makes its debut, the 2017 Audi SQ5 will face stiff competition from other luxury crossover SUVs in the like of the BMW X3, Range Rover Evoque, Mercedes-Benz GLC450 AMG and Porsche Macan.
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