Audi SQ2It is already adept at quickening the pulse, and now the 300PS Audi SQ2 is even more capable of catching the eye as it adopts the sharper new look and upgraded lighting technology already favouring the other members of the compact SUV range.

Enhancement of the S model that first brought sub-five-second acceleration potential to the Audi Q family’s singularly stylish lead-in SUV two years ago has also taken place beneath the skin. The cabin now benefits from additional equipment, improved infotainment and web-based Audi connect functionality and an expanded portfolio of driver assistance systems. When they become available in the UK from November 19, 2020 the latest generation SQ2 and even more striking SQ2 Black Edition models will also be joined by a newly inroduced SQ2 Vorsprung with a particularly exhaustive equipment list. Deliveries of all variants will begin here early in 2021.

The 2.0-litre TFSI engine powering the new generation SQ2 draws its 300PS output from 1,984 cm3 of displacement, and makes peak torque of 400 Nm (295.0 lb-ft) available to the driver across a broad swathe of the rev range from 2,000 to 5,300 rpm. The turbocharged four-cylinder always responds keenly to throttle inputs, and its sound becomes fuller as speed increases thanks in part to the switchable flaps in the exhaust system. The key figures it delivers speak for themselves: 0 to 62mph in 4.9 seconds, a top speed of 155mph, the potential for up to 34.0 MPG and CO2 emissions from 188 g/km based on the official test cycle.

A number of key enablers support the delivery of thrills with relative thrift in the SQ2. The Audi valvelift system (AVS) switches the stroke of the outlet valves between two levels to continually optimise the flow of exhaust gas to the turbocharger and therefore enhance response, particularly in the lower reaches of the rev range; sophisticated thermal management ensures highly effective coolant flow; and integration of the exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head helps the engine to warm up quickly, ensuring that exhaust gas aftertreatment can be activated as early as possible. Needless to say, thanks to these and other measures the Audi SQ2 complies with the limits of the new Euro 6 AP emission standard.

With its crisp, precisely defined corners and edges the SQ2 is a car full of character. The frontal styling is now even more striking, particularly in the area below the upgraded headlights. Its octagonal Singleframe is slightly lower, making the front section appear wider, and its insert now also references the polygon motif that characterises the entire car. The design of the large implied air intakes surrounded by wide frames in selenite silver is also more expressive, and narrow slits between the radiator grille and the bonnet pay homage to the design of the iconic Audi Sport quattro.

LED headlights are standard for SQ2 and SQ2 Black Edition models, while the SQ2 Vorsprung takes a step up to Matrix LED units. Each of their modules houses seven individual LEDs that deliver an intelligently controlled high beam light that always illuminates the road as brightly as possible without blinding other road users. Ten further light-emitting diodes installed behind rhomboid optical components generate the daytime running light, while seven LEDs generate the dynamic indicators that are incorporated in conjunction with Matrix LED. The SQ2 also features LED lights at the rear, which are also paired with dynamic rear indicators in Vorsprung versions. These top specification headlights and rear lights also offer dynamic light sequencing when the car is locked and unlocked.

In profile, the revised SQ2 highlights its membership of the S series through its aluminium-look mirror housings, while its pronounced sill inserts, roof edge spoiler and platinum grey C-pillar blades add to its distinctive visual appeal. At the rear, the pentagonal polygon treatment is now carried through into the bumper, within which is a diffuser insert framing two sets of twin exhaust tailpipes. Raising the standard powered tailgate reveals a minimum of 355 litres of luggage capacity, which can be expanded to 1,000 litres if the rear seat backrests are folded.

The latest generation SQ2 can be specified in a choice of seven colours, and its C-pillar is offered in two contrasting shades – the standard platinum grey or brilliant black – or alternatively in the chosen body colour. Upgrading to the SQ2 Black Edition adds gloss titanium black detailing for the the Singleframe surround, the strips on the air inlet grille and the rear diffuser, and a matt titanium black finish for the radiator grille, the underbody protection, the air inlet surrounds and the rear diffuser. The exhaust tailpipes are also trimmed in black chrome and the exterior mirror housings and C-pillar blades in solid Brilliant black.

As is the case with all Audi S models, the interior of the SQ2 features high quality materials presented in a dark colour scheme. Front sport seats upholstered in a black leather and Alcantara mix in the SQ2 and SQ2 Black Edition or in full Fine Nappa leather in the SQ2 Vorsprung provide ample support and also now feature electrically adjustable lumbar support. The headlining is also finished in black. In the latest models the door panels are crafted from a new, more tactile soft-touch material, and the air vents and S tronic selector lever have a new look.

In terms of equipment, the already extensive core list for all versions expands for this latest generation to include a rear view camera to complement the rear parking sensors, which are now also joined by front sensors for enhanced perimeter monitoring. Protection of the SQ2, its occupants and other road users was already cutting edge in the class thanks to the inclusion as standard of Audi pre sense front, which uses radar to observe the area in front of the car in order to avoid accidents or reduce their severity.

On-board infotainment technology is also significantly enhanced across the board, not only by the addition of the fully digital virtual cockpit with its 12.3-inch binnacle display but also by MMI navigation plus with its 8.3-inch monitor controllable via rotary pushbutton or natural language voice control. As before, the Audi smartphone interface also features as standard to enable key apps from a handset to be displayed and controlled by the MMI system.

MMI navigation plus includes an LTE module for fast data transmission, and a three-year subscription to the web-based services of Audi connect, granting access to online traffic, weather and local fuel pricing information and Google Earth navigation mapping. It also now includes the new features Audi connect emergency call & service and Audi connect remote & control, which via the smartphone-based myAudi app allow the owner to lock the vehicle remotely or check the fuel fill level and range, for example.

Priced from £38,900 OTR

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