In the recent Detroit Auto Show, Audi was all about introducing new crossovers. Along the gigantic Q8, Audi also debuted the second generation of the SQ5. The 2018 Audi SQ5 is the automaker’s performance-oriented mid-size crossover. The new model features a new engine, which translates to a faster and better handling model. Read along for more information:
2018 Audi SQ5 Exterior
To set the model apart from the regular Q5, Audi hooked up the SQ5 with an array of features synonymous with its other S-badged models. To start with, the front features a single frame grille with a Platinum Gray trim as opposed to a chrome trim as is the case with the Q5. The grille’s horizontal slats are finished in a dark paint. Its vertical bars almost look invisible. The new changes make the front fascia look sportier. The bumper is also slightly different.
The sides feature just two major changes. The first change is the silver upper mirror caps rather than body-colored units on regular models. The second new feature is the new twin-five-spoke set of sport wheels.
At the rear, the tailgate and roof spoiler, as well as the taillights, are unchanged. The only changes are a slight revision of the lower bumper and addition of bigger exhaust pipes.
Although they are only a few, the new changes have managed to make the model stand out from the regular 2018 Audi Q5.
2018 Audi SQ5 Interior
The SQ5 cabin styling is inspired by that of the regular Q5, which recently underwent an interior overhaul for the second generation. Like the Q5, the SQ5 will have a cleaner center stack, which among other features comes with a revised infotainment system that has a free-standing display placed on the dash. The instrument cluster has a new, huge display. The model also has a flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Front sports seats are now standard. The leather wrapped seats have a diamond stitching. The model also features a new matte and brushed aluminum inlay as standard but buyers can opt for carbon fiber elements. It also comes with stainless steel doorsills with an “S” badge.
Tech-wise, The SQ5 features the MMI Touch that supports handwriting recognition technology. The model also features the automaker’s Virtual cockpit. Its Smartphone interface features both Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. 4G LTE and Google Earth images are also featured. Audi also offers a sport display mode that places the speedometer and the tachometer at the front, center of the display. It also features a boost gauge as well as a lap timer, features that come in handy when you take the crossover racing on the tracks.
Engine Specs and performance
The SQ5 has a new engine under its hood. While the outgoing model had a supercharged unit, the new model comes with a turbocharged mill. However, the new engine is still a V-6 and has a displacement of 3.0 liters. The new TFSI engine produces 354 hp at 6000 rpm just like the outgoing engine but it adds 23 lb-ft of torque to 369 lb-ft of torque from 1370 rpm. The engine is mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission along with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
This enables the SQ5 to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds and can reach a top speed of 150 mph, which is not bad at all for a crossover.
An optional S sport package gets you a sports rear differential that actively splits torque between the rear wheels with the capability of channeling almost all torque to a single wheel. There are also more upgrades on its suspension such as addition of front five-link suspension that has a lightweight construction to increase steering precision and improve handling. A sport adaptive air suspension is optional. This suspension lowers the model’s height by 1.18 inches and allows for ride height and firmness of the dampers adjustment. It is controlled through the Audi drive select.
Price and release date
It is a bit early to expect Audi to reveal official prices of the 2018 Audi SQ5. However, I don’t expect the model to attract a heftier price tag than the outgoing model. The base SQ5 Premium has a starting price of $53,300. Most likely the new model will have a starting price of $54,000, around $14,000 more than the starting price of the Audi Q5 on which it is based. The Prestige trim will fetch around $61,000. Extra options will further increase the price