Unveiled at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the new Audi SQ2 is now ready for shipment and full details have been released. As the top variant of the Q2 family, the SQ2 offers the highest performance levels which are class-leading in the compact SUV segment – claimed 0 – 100 km/h time of 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h.

To achieve this performance, the SQ2 uses a 4-cylinder TFSI 1984 cc petrol engine which generates up to 300 bhp/400 Nm, all of which goes to all 4 wheels through 7-speed S-tronic transmission and a quattro system. The weight-to-power ratio is optimised by the light weight of the all-aluminium engine which is around 150 kgs.

During sporty driving, the quattro drive’s electronic controller can direct torque to the rear axle as soon as the driver turns the wheel. Under strong acceleration, the torque literally pushes the fast SUV into the curve. The quattro management system enables precise turn-in during load reversal, and provides maximum directional control and predictability when drifting on a low-friction road surface.

During fast driving, the quattro all-wheel drive works closely together with the wheel-selective torque control, which smoothens out the handling with tiny braking interventions at the inner wheels under reduced load.

The lower weight of the powertrain also helps in axle load distribution for sharper handling to exploit the full benefits of the S sport suspension. The suspension in the Audi SQ2 harmonizes optimally with the dynamic powertrain. With a sportier setup than the system on which it is based, it lowers the body by 20 mm.

The power boost of the standard progressive steering has an S-specific characteristic. Its rack is specially geared so that the steering ratio becomes more direct the further the wheel is turned. This reduces the steering angle needed and produces a sporty driving feel. Agility is improved when maneuvering, in urban traffic and in tight bends.

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Though the exterior length is 4210 mm, the generous wheelbase of 2594 mm allows for a spacious interior. The luggage compartment has a volume of 355 to 1,000 litres, depending on the position of the two or three-way split rear backrests.

The optional Audi virtual cockpit replaces the driver information system and if desired, an optional head-up display can also be installed. The 12.3-inch display of the virtual cockpit offers 3 different views, including a screen that places the tachometer front and centre.

The interior design takes up the progressive, taut lines of the exterior and uses colours and materials to set sporty accents. The decorative inlay on the instrument panel is matt brushed aluminium, with the pedal caps and footrest made of stainless steel.

The sporty seats of the SQ2 come standard in a combination of leather and fabric. A leather/Alcantara mix or fine Nappa leather are optionally available. Accent stripes, contrasting stitching in red and gray, plus embossed S logos round out the range. In addition to black, the fine Nappa leather upholstery is available in two colours (black with red) and with a rhombus pattern.

Priced from 44,500 euros in Germany (about RM212,000), the SQ2 will start to reach the first customers in January 2019. It would be a good model to sell in Malaysia but with Audi reverting to doing its business in Malaysia at arms-length again, we don’t know what product planning is going on.

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[Chips Yap]

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