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Audi reveals new SQ5 in Detroit

The latest high performance Audi SQ5 debuted at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Hot on the heels of the all-new Q5 range, the new SQ5 will be available to order with the V6 TFSI petrol engine for the first time in the UK. With an output of 354PS and 500Nm, it will sprint to 62mph in 5.4 seconds, on to a limited top speed of 155mph.

Styling wise, the SQ5’s bumpers - front and in the rear - are complemented by more 'strongly contoured', S-specific air inlets and a rear diffuser with a honeycomb grille. Another S-specific feature is the radiator grille with double aluminium slats and contrasting trim elements in matt twilight grey. The S logo with 'red rhombus' is also used in numerous locations.

LED technology is standard for all lighting functions. In profile, aluminium-look exterior mirrors gleam and door trim strips finished in the body colour ‘underscore the model’s exclusivity’ says Audi. The rear bumper houses the S-specific twin exhaust tailpipes of the dual-branch exhaust system and an aluminium diffuser clasp. An exterior colour panther black is also reserved exclusively for the new Audi SQ5.

A new combustion process developed by Audi makes the 3.0 TFSI ‘particularly efficient’ says Audi, enabling it to return up to 34mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 189g/km. The V6 TFSI engine meanwhile weighs just 172 kilograms and thus 14 kilograms less than the previous supercharged engine. A fast and smooth-shifting, eight-speed tiptronic transmission transmits the power in the new Audi SQ5.

The quattro permanent all-wheel drive contributes to the balanced handling. During normal driving, it distributes the engine power with a slight rear-axle bias. When necessary, the lion’s share of the power is sent to the axle with the better traction. The optional sport differential further optimises handling by actively distributing torque between the rear wheels via two superposition stages.

Adaptive CDC dampers (continuous damping control) are integrated into the Audi drive select system along with the engine, steering, tiptronic and optional sport differential. This lets the driver control the characteristics of the engine and suspension over several modes. A S-specific adaptive air suspension is available as an option.

The SQ5 comes with standard-fit 20-inch, cast aluminium wheels, while 21-inch wheels are available as an option. Audi Sport offers exclusive 21-inch wheels for further differentiation. Up front the SQ5 sports black (optionally red), six-piston, fixed-caliper brakes have an S logo and 350mm discs.

On the inside, illuminated door sills bear ’S’ logos, while contrasting stitching on the leather steering wheel and sport seats create a ‘dynamic and elegant ambiance’. The S sport seats are upholstered in fine Nappa leather with diamond pattern and a pneumatic massage function. Brushed aluminium inlays are standard, and aluminium-look shift paddles enable the driver to quickly shift the tiptronic’s gears. The pedals and footrest are finished in stainless steel.

A ‘predictive efficiency assistant’ provides specific driving tips to helps the driver save fuel. Adaptive cruise control (ACC) including traffic jam assist can handle some of the steering work in slow-moving traffic. Audi active lane assist makes it easier to stay in lane.

Cross traffic assist rear, the exit warning system, collision avoidance assist and turn assist are other new features for safety in everyday traffic. The same is true for the standard pre-sense system. The system warns the driver about pedestrians and vehicles, and initiates automatic emergency braking within system limits. Park assist, the camera-based recognition of traffic signs and hill descent control round out the features.

As standard, the SQ5 TFSI is fitted with the top-of-the-line MMI navigation plus infotainment system with MMI all-in-touch and an 8.3-inch display. The system recognises handwritten input as well as touch gestures familiar from consumer electronics, such as zoom and offers such features as intelligent free-text search. The natural-language voice control function also recognises inputs from everyday speech. A newly developed head-up display can be ordered as an option, which projects relevant information onto the windshield – such as driver assistance systems and current speed.

One highlight of the display and control concept is the optional Audi virtual cockpit. It displays all key information in 'razor-sharp' graphics on its 12.3-inch monitor. Views available to the driver include an S-specific sport mode centred around the rev counter.

The new Audi SQ5 is expected to be available to order at the end of this month, ahead of initial deliveries in the summer. Prices have yet to be confirmed.