Audi took the wraps off the all-new SQ5 SUV at the Detroit Auto Show, showing off the evolution of its "Q" design language with the latest addition to its growing SUV and crossover lineup. The 2018 SQ5, shown here in production form, is powered by an all-new 3.0-liter TFSI V6 engine good for 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That should give this sportier version of the Q5 plenty of oomph, going through an eight-speed tiptonic transmission to all four wheels courtesy of Audi's standard quattro AWD system. The outgoing SQ5, one of our favorite small SUVs, also churned out 354 hp, though the torque figure was lower – 347 lb-ft.
The new SQ5 features a new five-link suspension up front and a new sport rear differential out back, part of the optional Sport package that can split the torque between the wheels of the rear axle or direct all the torque to one wheel. For the first time, the SQ5 will also offer a sport adaptive air suspension which can lower the suspension by 1.1 inches, in addition to varying the firmness of the dampers. A lift/offroad mode can lift the suspension when needed, and dynamic steering will offer a variable steering ratio that changes based on the vehicle's speed, offering more nimble maneuverability at slower speeds. Audi says interior space has grown over the previous-generation SQ5, and the new SUV offers more shoulder and rear-seat legroom. The SQ5 will also reportedly offer more cargo capacity with the rear seats folded down.
Expect all the usual Audi sport trimmings including special sport seats with available diamond-pattern stitching, a multi-function sport steering wheel, a choice of carbon or brushed aluminum inlays as well as stainless steel door sills. When it comes to infotainment the Audi SQ5 will offer a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system, MMI touch with handwriting recognition technology as well as Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto integration. Safety systems such as automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitoring will also be on the menu, along with adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function. Audi will begin selling the new 2018 SQ5 here in spring of 2017. Pricing for it and the Q5 has not yet been released.