The same capacity for blistering pace and unshakeable cornering confidence that has characterised Audi compact class performance hatchbacks bearing the ‘S’ logo for nigh on two decades can now also be savoured in the Q2 SUV. The new SQ2 brings 300PS, quattro drive and a sub-five-second sprint time to bear in the lead-in Audi SUV range, and is now available to order in the UK priced from £36,800 OTR.
As is customary for an Audi ‘S’ performance variant, the exterior of the new SQ2 has been subtly but effectively uprated for further visual impact. Within the newly sculpted front bumper, a splitter runs almost the entire width of the car and is flanked by two dominating air inlets. The singleframe radiator grille incorporates eight upright double bars divided by horizontal struts and an SQ2 logo, while the side profile is enhanced by the C-pillar blade finished in matt titanium grey.
At the rear, a silver diffuser is moulded around the S-specific dual branch tailpipes on each corner. The roof edge spoiler also features a special contour. Completing the bespoke look are of course the aluminium-effect door mirror housings, which are a defining design characteristic of Audi S models. ‘V-spoke’ design 18-inch alloy wheels shod with the 235/40 size tyres are fitted as standard, and the 340mm front brakes have black calipers with S logos. These can optionally be finished in red. Separately, gloss white 19-inch alloys in a ‘5-double-spoke’design and with a diamond cut finish are available, as are 19-inch ‘5-arm’ Audi Sport wheels in gloss anthracite black.
Further customisation for those who desire an individual look is available via the SQ2 Exterior Pack. This adds a black styling pack - which extends to the radiator grille surround, tailpipes, C-pillar blade, door mirror housings and rear diffuser, as well as a larger rear spoiler and 19-inch ‘5-V twin spoke’ alloy wheels in contrasting grey with a diamond cut finish.
In addition to the standard interior specification that already includes dual-zone climate control, an extended leather pack, a 3.5” colour Driver’s Information System (DIS) and a flat-bottomed S multi-function steering wheel, a distinctive Interior Pack can also be chosen. It includes black and red front sports seats in Fine Nappa leather upholstery with contrasting stitching as an alternative to the standard leather/Alcantara, an LED interior lighting pack, front floor mats with an SQ2 logo and red air vents.
As well as the aforementioned SQ2-specific packs, drivers can also choose to enhance their ownership experience with other cost effective option bundles including the Technology Pack and the Comfort and Sound Pack. The former features MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch, the Audi Virtual Cockpit, Audi Phone Box wireless handset charging and Audi Connect Infotainment Services, and the latter a Bang & Olufsen surround sound system, heated front seats and front and rear parking sensors.
Delivering a constant 300PS and 400Nm between 2,000rpm and 5,200rpm, the turbocharged 2.0-litre unit propelling the SQ2 itself only weighs around 150kg, benefitting not just the total weight of the Audi SQ2, but also the axle load distribution. It is matched to a seven-speed S tronic, ensuring acceleration to 62mph in just 4.8 seconds and a governed 155mph top speed.
As with every Audi S model, quattro all-wheel drive is standard in the SQ2, combining high traction through continuous torque distribution between the axles via the hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch. If the front wheels lose grip, up to 100 percent of the force is transferred to the rear within just a few milliseconds. 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.
Fitted as standard, S sport suspension in the Audi SQ2 lowers the body by 20mm and perfectly complements the dynamic powertrain. The power boost of the standard progressive steering also has an S-specific characteristic. Its rack is specially geared so that the steering ratio becomes more direct the further the wheel is turned, thus reducing the steering angle needed. Agility is also improved when manoeuvring in urban traffic and in tight bends.
In terms of practicality, the SQ2 offers the same interior space as other Q2 quattro variants in the range, as well as a split-folding 60:40 rear seat. A removable and lockable tow bar can also be separately specified.