NAIAS 2017 | Audi Makes the Crossover a Little Sportier, Smaller with the SQ5

Audi may have hit on a term to describe the ever-blurring world of crossovers and hatchbacks with the arrival of the new SQ5 – arguably the sportiest (and smallest) crossover vehicle in Audi’s line (or any other automaker’s catalog). Calling it a “sporty variant,” the car has the lines of a crossover in the package of a sport hatchback — with the specs to support the latter description.

The SQ5 comes with a 3.0 liter, V6 TFSI engine producing 354 hp and a 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds. Underneath, adaptive air suspension adjusts for ride height and handling firmness for a more driver-friendly ride. This looks to be a fun, tight and proper driver’s car, if hidden in the styling of a small crossover. It gets complicated.

Also: NAIAS 2017 | Porsche Unveils Look, Pricing for New 911 GTS Models

This sporty variant (…sounds like a hero from a bizarre Sunday Funnies serial comic…) pairs that new V6 with an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. An S sport package adds a Quattro sport rear differential to split torque between the wheels of the rear axle. The system can direct  torque to one wheel, helping maximize grip.

Untitled 2

Drivers can enjoy four  driving modes: comfort, auto, dynamic and individual — with the air suspension adjusting for each. The 2018 SQ5 models also offer dynamic steering that offers a variable steering that adjusts to vehicle speed and the drive mode setting.

Inside, this new Audi includes infotainment options like the MMI Touch system with handwriting-recognition, a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D Sound and Audi smartphone interface with Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto capability. The optional Audi Virtual Cockpit make viewing and navigating easier thanks to large Google Earth images supported with 4G LTE.

The vehicle should be ready for same by Spring with pricing, MPG and other specs pending.