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2014 Audi SQ5 Overview
If the turbocharged Audi Q5 doesn’t quite do it for you, look for its supercharged SQ5 sibling to adorn dealer showrooms in the late summer of 2013. Sporting 5-passenger seating, a sport-tuned suspension, 57.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, a supercharged V6 powerplant and all the traditional bells and whistles of its Q5 kinfolk in both an SQ5 3.0T Quattro Premium Plus trim and an SQ5 3.0T Quattro Prestige edition, this compact crossover should significantly outperform every other downsized quasi-ute out there. Alas and needless to say, however, be prepared for a rather hefty MSRP.
Anyhow, after running the roadways in Europe for a few years now, this high-performance edition of the Q5 reaches U.S. shores with a tad fewer ponies than foreign-based editions, but it's certainly more potent than the current touring-oriented variant that’s been around these parts since ’09. Thus the SQ5 trims are expected to sport an up-powered 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, mate it with the standard 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission and thereby put out an impressive 354 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque. Towing is likely to be maxed out at some 4,400 pounds with the proper equipment, but mileage figures are as yet unavailable. Additionally, in the traditional Audi mold, this hopped-up Quattro comes with full-time all-wheel drive (AWD) standard.
It’s also expected that the 2014 SQ5 3.0T Quattro Premium Plus and its Prestige sibling will be equipped similarly to their older Q5 sisters. There are, however, enough styling differences in the grille, fender design and drive height, not to mention the unique badges and appliqués, to differentiate this Q from its lesser brethren.
In any case, look for standard 20-inch alloy wheels, a power liftgate, a power sunroof, heated power-adjustable mirrors and a roof rack to adorn the distinctive profile, while the cabin will likely flaunt leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable sport front seats, reclining rear seats and full power accessories. Cruise control will doubtless be included, as will telescoping tilt-wheel steering, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a remote garage door opener.
Additionally, standard tri-zone auto climate control should cool down the performance-oriented SQ5, while entertainment is expected to include a 180-watt audio system, 10 speakers, satellite radio and a memory card slot. And, of course, all of this, including Bluetooth hands-free communications, will likely be interfaced via Audi’s MMI infotainment technology.
The up-featured SQ5 3.0T Quattro Prestige will stock upgraded leather upholstery, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, Audi Side Assist, a rear-view camera and a navigation system flaunting a 7-inch color display.
And yes, Virginia, there are a number of options and packages expected to be available to this careening crossover. The available Driver Assist Package, sporting adaptive cruise control, dynamic steering and Audi’s touted Drive Select program that allows altered throttle, shifting and steering response, is also scheduled to be available to the SQ5 and should boast an even sportier driving experience.
Meanwhile, standalone options will likely include upsized and upgraded alloy wheels, the updated MMI navigation system, Nappa leather upholstery and rear-seat DVD entertainment.
Standard safety features, finally, are expected to include 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head airbags. Additionally, look for xenon high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights to be delivered with the brand new (for us) SQ5, as well as turn-signal-integrated mirrors, front fog/driving lights, daytime running lights, a post-collision safety system and a remote antitheft alarm. An expected safety option, meanwhile, is a set of rear side-mounted thorax airbags.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.