WORLD PREMIERE: Audi SQ2 — Small Meets Sporty

Tiny performance crossovers are becoming very popular in today’s automotive market. Cars like the Mercedes-AMG GLA45 and, more recently, the BMW X2 M35i, have become highly desirable among premium customers. Which is what Audi decided to join the party with this — the Audi SQ2.

We already saw the Audi SQ2 at the Paris Motor Show back in October but Audi was mum on the details. Now, we get to learn about what’s under the skin.

The Audi SQ2 is actually something that the brand really needed. The standard Q2 is a good car but it’s a seriously unexciting one. The most powerful Q2 makes less hp than the Ford Fiesta ST. Let’s just say that’s thrilling. However, this new Audi SQ2 packs a serious punch and could be a lot of fun.

Under the hood of the stylish SQ2 lies a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a similar unit to the one found in the Audi S3. That little turbo four-pot makes 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, which is right there with its main competitors. Though, both the aforementioned BMW and AMG have more. Still, it’s a punchy little car that can get from 0-60 mph in a claimed 4.8 seconds. Considering that Audi is always conservative with its power and performance figures, we expect it to be a bit quicker than that.

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Those 300 ponies are sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that sends the power to all four wheels, via a Haldex-based Quattro all-wheel drive system. It’s important to stress that it’s Haldex-based and not proper Quattro. The difference is actually vast, with Quattro using a Torsen diff at the back end of the transmission and Haldex using a hydraulically-actuated multi-plate clutch. While the latter is fine, the former is much better.

As for the suspension, the new Audi SQ2 sits 20mm lower than the standard car and it gets a uniquely tuned power steering rack. Its steering is variable, meaning that the ratio changes and becomes more direct the further you turn the wheel. Audi has been criticized for its variable racks in the past so it will be interesting to see how this one works.

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It sure looks good, too. Its boxy, aggressive attitude and stylish design make it a very interesting looking little car and one that a lot of younger enthusiasts will be drawn to. The massive Singleframe Grille with vertical slats, black trim everywhere, large wheels and quad exhausts all combine to make the SQ2 very aggressive and very sporty looking. We like it.

Inside, it’s a bit of the same, with its cabin not being that much different from the standard Q2’s. Sure, it gets some red accents and some red seat inserts but it’s not much different than an S-Line-trimmed Q2. That’s not to say it’s bad by any means, as it’s a high-quality and sporty looking interior, but it’s just not anything new or different.

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We’ve been waiting for an Audi SQ2 for a long time now. Ever since the first one debuted a couple of years ago, we’ve been hoping for a sportier version. It’s stylish looks and punchy attitude always seemed to befit a sports car. Now that it’s finally here, we’re happy with how it seems to have turned out. It’s got some genuine power and performance, it looks cool enough and it has a nice interior. Now we’re just wondering what the hell took so long.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.