S variant for Q2

The ultimate urban SUV gets S performance, handling and styling.

Rounding out the popular compact Q2 range, the new SQ2 gives the urban SUV greater performance and presence.

20 December, 2018

The run from standstill to 100km/h disappears in under five seconds – 4.8 seconds to be precise – on the way to a governed top speed of 250km/h. The combination of S sport suspension and quattro all-wheel drive make for unparalleled handled in all conditions, while new styling inside and out, as well as greater appointment and state-of-the-art infotainment top off this new performance specialist.

Meet the new Audi SQ2, the top of the popular Q2 range that has proved tremendously successful since its Australian launch in early 2017. With 221kW of power and 400Nm of torque on hand from its 2.0 TFSI engine, the SQ2 ups the performance stakes significantly, indeed the ’S’ treatment across the board will provide those in the compact SUV segment with performance option, fully equipped with the very latest in automotive technology.

The award-winning polygonal design of the Q2 remains, but has received the Audi S treatment. At the front, eight upright double bars divide the large, octagonal Singleframe grille, while a front splitter joins the outermost edges of the two dominating air inlets to underscore the full width of the vehicle. The standard LED headlights and LED rear lights with dynamic turn signals are immediately identifiable on the road and the SQ2 is more muscular and purposeful in its overall design and presence. A long roof edge spoiler provides for sufficient downforce and the diffuser insert houses four exhaust tailpipes. The SQ2 rides on large 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, with 19-inch wheels available as an option.

The SQ2 has a drag coefficient of 0.34, and the noise level on-board remains low thanks to the vibration-optimised body and Audi’s high level of competence in aero-acoustics. A structure of hot-shaped steels, which combine extreme strength with low weight, forms the strong backbone of the passenger cell and is responsible for the high rigidity of the entire body.

The run from standstill to 100km/h disappears in under five seconds – 4.8 seconds to be precise – on the way to a governed top speed of 250km/h

The famed 'S' treatment is evident throughout the Q2, from appointments to performance

Inside too, the new treatment is immediately apparent. The design takes up the progressive, taut lines of the exterior and uses colours and materials to set sporty accents. The headlining, pillars and seat upholstery come standard in black. The decorative inlay on the instrument panel is matt brushed aluminium. The pedal caps and the footrest are made of stainless steel; the illuminated door sill trims up front sport S logos. The instrument dials are grey and the needles white. The MMI monitor and the display in the instrument cluster or Audi virtual cockpit show S-specific start screens when the ignition is switched on. 

The seats of the Audi SQ2 come standard in a combination of leather and fabric, with a leather/ Alcantara mix or fine Nappa leather optionally available. Accent stripes, contrasting stitching in red and grey, plus embossed S logos round out the range. In addition to black, the fine Nappa leather upholstery is available in two colours (black with red) and with a rhombus pattern. There are two options for the decorative inlay: a red anodised paint finish and the illuminated version “Format light graphics” (with the 10-colour ambient lighting package). Other options include air vents with red interior rings and the flat-bottomed steering wheel with shift paddles.

Standard equipment includes sport seats, a front centre armrest, automatic air conditioning, a sport multifunction steering wheel – optionally with paddles for the S tronic – and the driver information system with colour display. The optional Audi virtual cockpit replaces the driver information system and the driver controls the fully digital instrument cluster via buttons on the steering wheel. The 12.3-inch display offers three different views, including a screen that places the tachometer front and centre, while the most important information is also visible in an optional head-up display. 

Equipment too is impressive, with MMI navigation plus with MMI touch available as the top option. With its touchpad that also enables multi-finger scrolling and zooming, as well as voice control and MMI search operation is simple and intuitive. The MMI navigation plus also includes the Audi connect package (optional with MMI navigation), with a SIM card permanently installed in the car, the Audi connect SIM, brings numerous online services on board, including traffic information online, navigation with Google Earth, travel and parking information and access to Twitter and email.

The infotainment range in the Audi SQ2 includes Audi smartphone interface which integrates iOS and Android mobile phones with their Apple CarPlay and Android Auto environments into the MMI system. There is also the Bang & Olufsen Sound System, which features a 705 Watt amplifier driving 14 speakers.

Obviously safety is of paramount importance, and to that end the SQ2 can be ordered with a raft of driver assistance systems, such as Audi pre sense front, adaptive cruise control with stop & go function and the traffic jam assist, to name just a few on offer.

But it is the performance and handling of the SQ2 that really sets it apart and most obviously delivers on the S promise. The seven-speed S tronic with a high spread of 8.7 between the first and last gears transfers the power of the 2.0 TFSI. The driver can operate the lightning-fast dual-clutch transmission in the automatic modes D or S, or shift themselves. If the Audi drive select dynamic handling system is in ‘efficiency’ mode, the clutch disengages when coasting, allowing the compact sport SUV to freewheel. From a residual speed of 7km/h, the engine switches over to start-stop operation. 

But it is the performance and handling of the SQ2 that really sets it apart and most obviously delivers on the S promise

As with every Audi S model, quattro all-wheel drive is standard in the SQ2, combining high traction with engaging handling. Its central element is a hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch which distributes torque continuously between the axles, so that if the front wheels lose grip, the multi-plate clutch can transfer up to 100 percent of the force to the rear within just a few milliseconds. 

The quattro drive’s electronic controller provides for the ultimate in driving enjoyment and safety. During sporty driving, it can direct torque to the rear axle as soon as the driver turns the wheel. Under acceleration, the torque literally pushes the fast SUV into the curve.

Complementing this is the S sport suspension which lowers the body by 20 millimetres. The power boost of the standard progressive steering has an S-specific characteristic, where its rack is specially geared so that the steering ratio becomes more direct the further the wheel is turned.

The standard Audi drive select dynamic handling system lets the driver choose between the profiles auto, comfort, dynamic, efficiency and individual. It uses these profiles to manage the character of the steering, the seven-speed S tronic and additional systems. A button allows the driver to set the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) to off-road mode and hold assist is available as an option. 

The SQ2 builds on the Q2’s reputation as the ultimate urban SUV, and with its improved performance and appointment, will have no shortage of admirers looking for a sporty, luxury compact SUV. Details on the availability of the new SQ2 in Australia had not been finalised at time of writing, but like each of Audi’s performance models, the SQ2 is bound to be well received Down Under.

Under acceleration, the torque literally pushes the fast SUV into the curve