Hot new Audi SQ2 SUV draws nearer

Audi SQ2 spy shots – front cornering

Audi has given the strongest indication yet that the hot version of its new Q2 compact SUV is on the way and will take-on the Audi SQ2 name. The brand has applied to registed ‘SQ2’ as a trademark with the global trademark office, suggesting that the car our spy photographers have already seen testing is on its way to showrooms. 

Back in the summer of 2016 we revealed exclusive news of a hot new Audi Q2 model, shortly before the turbocharged SQ2 was seen testing on and around the famous Nurburgring race track.

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The pictures clearly show a tuned version of Audi’s latest crossover with the giveaway quad exhausts, wider body kit, flared arches and big alloy wheels. The gloss black detailing to the grille, vents and C-pillar are hints toward a faster model, too.

Given the fact that Audi is testing the car both on and off track, we expect bosses are keen to make this one of the best handling cars in the crossover class. It’ll rival models like the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 – sitting below its bigger brother, the RS Q3.

Audi SQ2 spy shots – side

An SQ2 model is likely to use the four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo from the Audi S3 – with 296bhp and quattro four-wheel drive. It would slot into the maker’s growing SQ range of hot SUVs alongside the SQ5 and new SQ7.

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“It is something we’re looking at,” admitted Stephan Knirsch, Audi’s Board member for Technical Development. “It would be relatively easy to do with MQB. The Q2 shares a lot with the A3, but we have to see what appetite there is for the more expensive Q2 models first.”

Knirsch admitted that it might be possible to pay around €45,000 (£35,000) for a Q2 if all the option boxes were ticked. And with prices for the Q2 set to run close to those of the equivalent A3 Sportback, we’d expect the basic price of an SQ2 to be in the region of £33,000.

Audi SQ2 spy shots – rear tracking

The new Q2 SUV already features the same Progressive Steering system as the S3, so adding that car’s drivetrain is a logical next step. However, Audi insiders have hinted that there may be even more power in the pipeline, possibly featuring the 362bhp five-cylinder engine from the RS3. This, predictably, would be badged RS Q2.

With 1.0 and 1.4-litre petrol or 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesel Q2s having already arrived in the UK, and a 188bhp 2.0-litre petrol coming next year, it’s likely to be some time in 2018 before we see the SQ2 in showrooms.