The car industry has decided we need performance SUVs and latest to join the line up is the Audi SQ2.
Set to be unveiled on 2nd October at the Paris motor show, the hot version of the Audi Q2 small SUV packs 300hp, a sub five-second 0-62mph time and an electronically limited 155mph top speed.
The SQ2 uses the same 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine fitted to the Audi S3 hatch. Alongside the power the compact, lightweight unit (weighing just 150kg) produces 400Nm of torque between 2,000 and 5,000rpm.
As standard the SQ2 is fitted with a seven-speed twin-clutch auto transmission and all-wheel-drive, the system programmed for performance with the ability to direct 100% of the torque to the rear wheels for maximum acceleration and individually to each axle for the best grip when cornering.
Chassis changes over the standard Q2 include a 20mm lower suspension and retuned power steering, sharpening its reactions the more the wheel is turned.
Upgraded brakes employ 340mm front discs and 310mm at the rear and can be supplied with red callipers. They sit behind bespoke alloy wheels of 18 inches diameter as standard, with 19-inch versions on the options list.
As in other Audi S models exterior styling is added to differentiate the SQ2 from the standard car. A bolder front-end design includes a splitter, contoured trim strips are added to the lower doors, mirrors finished with an aluminium effect and a roof spoiler added along with a rear diffuser and quad exhaust pipes.
Inside the treatment includes a black finish on the headlining, pillars and upholstery of the standard-fit sports seats. Matt brushed aluminium is used on the instrument panel, while there are stainless steel pedal surfaces and footrest and illuminated S logos on the door sill trims.
There’s more – bespoke start screens on the instrument panel when the engine is turned on, leather and fabric trim as standard or a leather/Alcantara mix or Nappa leather as options, and contrasting stitching and embossed S logos.
Audi dealers will start taking orders for the SQ2 later this year with first deliveries in early 2019. Prices are still to be announced – industry sources suggest they will start from around £35,000.