Audi will finally bring the quick SQ2 to Australia to rival the other small, fast German SUVs in what has become a mighty popular segment – expect the brisk Audi to arrive by mid-2021.
Following the launch of the fresh faced Audi Q2, Ingolstadt’s smallest SUV, the Australian arrival of its most athletic variant has been confirmed. Rivalling the BMW X2 M35i and Mercedes-AMG GLA 35, the SQ2 is set to launch in the middle of 2021.
Currently, the briskest Q2 offered in Australia is the two-litre 40TFSI, which boasts 140kW and 320Nm outputs and a Quattro drivetrain. While Europe got the previous SQ2, this is the first time the friskier SUV will arrive Downunder, with a 221kW/400Nm two-litre motor.
While this is a very similar motor found in the Audi S3, it’s not the same, being down 7kW on the hatchback. Despite retaining identical power and torque outputs to before, the new SQ2’s 0-100km/h sprint time has increased by a tenth, to 4.9 seconds.
Claimed fuel consumption of 7.7L/100km sounds reasonable, but like the acceleration the consumption is worse than the car it replaces; the original SQ2 managed 7.2L/100km.
Audi says there will be an active exhaust system that will open up as speed piles on. There’s a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox fitted that allows clutch-in coasting in eco mode. Naturally, there’s a ‘Quattro’ all-wheel-drive system, though it’s a front-biased setup.
Outside, the SQ2 takes on all the updated cues from the run-of-the-mill Q2, and retains its intriguing polygonal theme. That means a larger, lower grille with the polygon motif appearing in the honeycomb pattern.
There are also new Matrix LED headlights as an option, though LEDs are standard and still rather attractive. The rear end has actually been softened off slightly, but overall the facelift has a more contemporary look to it.
Adding to the aggression is suspension lowered by 20mm for the SQ2, with firmer spring and damper rates for improved road holding. There are a set of 18-inch wheels fitted standard, though larger 19-inch items are optional, as are red brake calipers.
Inside there are several drive modes including individual, auto, comfort and dynamic, all of which influence the throttle response, exhaust noise and steering weight. There is no adaptive damper option, however.
Further changes feature inside, this SQ2 gets a lot of dark surfaces and material choices in line with the rest of Audi’s S models for a cocooning feeling.
Increasing the sportiness are metal pedals and a combination of leather and fabric–appointed seats. Optionally, full Nappa leather-appointments can be had, or a mix of leather and sustainably sourced ‘Dinamica’ microfibre, to better grip the driver’s rear end during hard cornering.
Audi’s 12.3-inch virtual cockpit is standard and integrates very well with the optional navigation system. While there is an 8.3-inch touchscreen running Audi’s MMI software, we’re glad to see the rotary dial is still on the centre console, unlike in the larger Audi A4. There are over-the-air software updates, Apple CarPlay and a bumping Bang & Olufsen stereo to finish it off inside.
Safety is fair in the new SQ2, with the standard inclusion of AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection. For European markets, lane-trace assist and adaptive cruise control that interfaces with traffic sign recognition are part of an option package, as is parking assist program. However, Australian SQ2s will may be better equipped.
Exact specification and pricing will be confirmed closer to the SQ2 launching in mid-2021.
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