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Paris show: Audi reveals 221kW/400Nm SQ2

Power up: While a 140kW/320Nm version of the EA888 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine is used in the Q2 2.0 TFSI, the SQ2 ups the performance ante with its 221kW/400Nm tune.

WLTP complications hold up Australian release of SQ2 performance SUV due by 2020

1 Oct 2018

AUDI has revealed the first high-performance variant of its design-focused Q2, with the SQ2 to bring a more powerful engine, sportier chassis and aggressive styling to the small SUV when it likely launches in Australia by the end of next year.
Speaking to GoAuto, Audi Australia corporate communications manager Shaun Cleary confirmed that the ongoing European rollover to the Worldwide harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) consumption and emissions standards has delayed the SQ2’s local release.
“The SQ2 promises to be a thrilling performance car that would be extremely popular with Australian drivers in the dynamic compact-SUV segment,” he said.
“It is not yet confirmed for our market due to complications related to WLTP, however our team is hard at work on this.
“We are confident that we will be able to offer the SQ2 in Australia before the end of 2019.”
Set to make its international debut this week at the Paris motor show, the SQ2 is motivated by Volkswagen Group’s EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 221kW of power and 400Nm of torque from 2000 to 5200rpm.
Paired to Audi’s front-biased quattro all-wheel-drive system and seven-speed S-tronic dual-wet-clutch automatic transmission, the SQ2 can dash from standstill to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds while on the way to its electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
Comparatively, BMW’s recently-revealed X2 M35i develops 225kW and 450Nm from its similarly sized engine, helping it reach triple digits in a barely slower 4.9s.
Both models, however, fall short of the full-fat Mercedes-AMG GLA45 in the output stakes, with it punching out 280kW and 475Nm from its own 2.0-litre turbo-petrol. It is also the quickest, with the landmark sprint coming up in 4.4s.
The SQ2’s performance credentials in Australia may be affected by Volkswagen Group’s ‘hot weather’ designation for the market, which sees the Audi S3 and Volkswagen Golf R small cars subject to a 213kW/380Nm tune of the EA888. Audi Australia is yet to confirm if this will occur.
Audi currently offers an RS version of its soon-to-be-replaced Q3 small SUV, suggesting that an RS Q2 may also be in the works, likely powered by the RS3 small car’s 294kW/480Nm 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine.
Chassis-wise, the SQ2’s S sports suspension lowers its ride height by 20mm, while its speed-sensitive power steering has adopted an “S-specific characteristic”, according to the German brand.
Distinguished by its signature Singleframe grille, which this time features eight horizontal double bars, the SQ2’s front end is punctuated by a wide splitter and two large side air intakes.
The side profile is highlighted by heavily countered wheelarch and lower door claddings, while the rear end is pronounced by its roof-mounted spoiler, diffuser and quad exhaust tailpipes.
While 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/45 tyres are standard, buyers can upgrade to 19-inch rims with 235/40 rubber. The disc brakes measure 340mm up front and 310mm at the rear.
Inside, black leather/fabric upholstery, a black headliner, matte brushed-aluminium inlays, sports seats, a sports steering wheel, stainless-steel pedals, illuminated scuff plates, satellite navigation, an 8.3-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, and climate control are standard.
The SQ2 can also be specified with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a colour head-up display, paddle-shifters, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system with a 705W amplifier, and alternative trim colours and materials.
Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and park assist are among the SQ2’s available advanced driver-assist systems.
Sales of the Q2 have improved in 2018 – its first full year on the market – with 1274 examples sold to the end of August. This represents an 11.8 per cent increase over the 1140 deliveries made during the same period in 2017 – the year the model entered showrooms in late February.
The Q2 is currently placed fourth in the $40,000-plus small-SUV segment, trailing the Mercedes-Benz GLA (2750 units), BMW X1 (2146) and Audi Q3 (1610) but ahead of the Volvo XC40 (794), BMW X3 (775) and Mini Countryman (757), among others.

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