Automotive

Published on November 17th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair

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Audi SQ2 Facelift Has A Strange Looking Grille

Audi pioneered the use of larger front grilles back in the late 2000s with cars like the first R8 and the third generation Audi A4 pushing industry boundaries. But in 2020, it seems like the company is grasping at straws when it comes to design innovations. The latest SQ2 facelift is proof of this. The outgoing SQ2 (pictured below) had a grille design that played into the sporty crossover’s angular lines.

But take a look at the 2021 facelift and you can see Audi have done something a little odd.

To our eyes, it’s a little bit unsettling. Here’s a close-up comparison of the two grilles.

Of course, looks are subjective. And it could be said that the new treatment of the Singleframe grille is a little more rugged, playing to the crossover’s offroad aesthetic. Besides the new grille, the bumper and lower air intakes have been redesigned, ‘tightened up’, in a way. The daytime running light graphic has also changed dramatically, as has the internal layout of the headlight cluster. A different rim design is also featured here.

There are other revisions to equipment and tweaks to performance, but the car is by and large a similar package to what was sold before. While the standard Q2 is available in Malaysia, the SQ2 is not, nor is it available for special order through the Audi Online Showroom.

But if you’re curious about what else has changed on the updated SQ2, check out the press release below.

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PRESS RELEASE

The sporty SUV in the compact segment now has an even fresher look: Audi has revised the SQ2. Thanks in part to the new headlights and bumpers, its appearance is even sportier and more striking, and new Audi connect services and assist systems make driving the car even more effortless. It also offers a strong performance: The 2.0 TFSI with 221 kW (300 PS) accelerates the SQ2 from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 4.9 seconds. Thanks to quattro all-wheel drive and the S sport suspension, the power is applied smoothly to the road.

Since its debut two years ago, the SQ2 has made a name for itself as a car full of character. It is a dynamic compact SUV for individualists who value standalone design, a high utility value, and dynamic handling. The key figures speak for themselves: 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 4.9 seconds, top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph), and an average fuel consumption of just 7.7 liters per 100 km (30.5 US mpg)

Sporty all-around engine in peak form: the 2.0 TFSI

The 2.0 TFSI draws its power from 1,984 cm3 of displacement and is a sporty all-around engine. It is installed in many Audi models – in the SQ21, it delivers 221 kW (300 PS) and a constant 400 Nm (295.0 lb-ft) of torque across a broad range of between 2,000 and 5,300 rpm. The turbocharged four-cylinder has an excellent throttle response, and its sound becomes fuller as the speed increases. This is due in part to the flaps in the exhaust system.

The 2.0 TFSI has some progressive technologies for power and efficiency on board. The Audi valvelift system (AVS) switches the stroke of the outlet valves between two levels as needed, thereby optimizing the charge cycle in the lower engine speed range in particular: The improved flow of exhaust gas to the turbocharger results in an agile response and powerful torque build-up. Sophisticated thermal management controls the coolant flow, and the exhaust manifold integrated in the cylinder head helps the engine to warm up quickly, which allows exhaust gas aftertreatment to be activated early on. Needless to say, the Audi SQ2 complies with the limits of the new Euro 6 AP emission standard.

Driving pleasure and driving safety: the seven-speed S tronic and quattro drive

The seven-speed S tronic is standard in the Q2 top model. Its lower gears feature short, sporty ratios while the seventh gear is long to reduce fuel consumption. Drivers can operate the lightning-fast dual-clutch transmission in modes D or S, or shift themselves. If the Audi drive select system is in “efficiency” mode, the clutch disengages when coasting, allowing the compact sport SUV to freewheel.

The quattro all-wheel drive provides the updated Audi SQ2 with the crucial amount of additional dynamism and stability. Its electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch distributes the torque smoothly between the axles. Should the front wheels lose traction, the clutch redirects it completely to the rear within a few milliseconds. The SQ2 is fitted with the latest generation of the multi-place clutch, which features many improvements, for example to the bearings and oil supply, that increase its efficiency. The pump is powered by a low-wear, brushless electric motor. The entire clutch is just under one kilogram lighter than the part in the predecessor model. This is due in part to the fact that the control unit is integrated in the clutch housing. 

The driving pleasure provided by the electronically controlled quattro drive has remained at the same high level. During sporty driving, the clutch can direct some of the torque to the rear axle and thereby increase dynamism as soon as the driver turns the wheel. The quattro management system enables precise turn-in during load reversal, and provides maximum control and reliability when drifting on a low-friction surface. The wheel-selective torque control rounds off the handling with minor brake interventions at the relieved wheels on the inside of the curve.

Dynamic character: suspension and steering in the Audi Q2

The S sport suspension of the Audi SQ2 lowers the body by 20 millimeters. The standard progressive steering is geared in such a way that its steering ratio becomes more direct as the angle increases. This makes the SQ2 even more agile – when maneuvering, in urban traffic, and in tight curves.

The standard equipment of the sporty compact SUV also includes the Audi drive select dynamic handling system that offers the profiles “auto,” comfort,” “dynamic,” “efficiency,” and “individual.” It changes the character of the steering, the seven-speed S tronic, the engine, and other systems. The driver can press a button to set the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) to off-road mode. 

The Audi SQ2 rolls off the line with 18-inch alloy wheels and size 235/45 tires at the main Audi plant in Ingolstadt. The range offered by Audi and Audi Sport GmbH also includes 19-inch wheels with size 235/40 tires (standard with the SQ2 exterior package). The large brakes have a diameter of 340 millimeters at the front axle and 310 millimeters at the rear axle. Their brake calipers feature S badges and are painted red as an option.

Strong character with angles and edges: the exterior design

With its angles and edges, the Audi SQ2, which measures 4.21 meters (13.8 ft) in length, is a car full of character. Its design has become even more expressive with the update. The octagonal Singleframe is now slightly lower, and the slats in its insert also interpret the polygon motif that characterizes the entire car. There are narrow slits between the grille and the hood. Wide frames painted in selenite silver surround the large implied air inlets.

LED headlights are standard, and Audi installs the new Matrix LED headlights as an alternative. One shared module houses seven individual LEDs. The intelligently controlled high beam light always illuminates the road as brightly as possible without blinding other road users. Ten further light-emitting diodes installed behind rhomboid optical components generate the daytime running light. Seven LEDs generate the dynamic turn signals independently. LED lights are installed at the rear as standard. When installed with the Matrix LED headlights, they also feature dynamic turn signals. In this case, the headlights and rear lights present dynamic light sequencing when the car is locked and unlocked.

In the side view of the revised Audi SQ2, the aluminum-look mirror housings, the strips along the sills, the roof edge spoiler, and the silver blades on the C-pillar add accents. The rear bumper with its pentagonal polygons varies the design motif of the front apron and two exhaust tailpipes are each framed by the diffuser insert. The luggage compartment is located behind the tailgate and has a volume of 355 to 1,000 liters depending on the position of the rear backrests. 

The color palette of the Q2 top model includes ten colors and the attachments are painted in contrasting Manhattan gray as an option. The blades on the C-pillars are available in selenite silver (standard), vehicle color, Manhattan gray, platinum gray, and brilliant black. With the black styling package, the Singleframe, the air inlet grilles, and the diffuser are finished in gloss black, and the bumpers feature a contrasting paint finish. The SQ2 exterior package also applies black styling to the mirror housings, the blade on the C-pillar, and the tailpipe trims. The roof edge spoiler features a special contour here, and quattro logos on film adorn the doors.

Dark tones, specific and upscale materials: the interior

As is the case with all Audi S models, the interior of the SQ2 is dominated by dark tones and particularly high-quality surfaces. The headlining is designed in black and the door panels feature a new material that is pleasant to touch. The pedal caps and the footrest are made of stainless steel and the illuminated door sill trims sport S logos. The display shows S-specific start screens when the ignition is switched on.

All equipment in the sportiest Q2 model is bundled in packages; there are four packages for the upholstery and colors. Customers can choose from a combination of fabric and leather (standard), pure fine Nappa leather – with a rhombus pattern as an option – and a mixture of leather and the microfiber material Dinamica, which is replacing Alcantara. It looks and feels like suede but consists mainly of recycled polyester, which is sourced from textiles and PET bottles, for example. Accent stripes and contrasting stitching adorn the seats. They are available in rock gray, black, and magma red. The optional backlit trim strip constitutes a major exception in the segment.

New structure: operation and display, packages and equipment

The Audi SQ2 comes as standard with automatic air conditioning, a sport multifunction steering wheel, and the sport seats. The optional convenience features are bundled in the climate control, comfort, function, interior, infotainment, dynamism, and assist systems packages. In terms of operation and infotainment, the range extends to the Audi virtual cockpit, which can be switched over to a sports view, and the MMI navigation plus (available with the navigation package). It is operated via a rotary pushbutton on the center console.

The top-of-the-line infotainment system brings the Audi connect services with LTE plus speed on board, and a Wi-Fi hotspot integrates the passengers’ mobile devices. The services of Audi connect emergency call & service and Audi connect remote & control are new additions and are both part of the standard equipment. They allow the owner to lock the vehicle remotely or check the fuel level, for example. To do this, owners can use the myAudi app on their smartphones, which is also free. The Audi smartphone interface, the Audi phone box, and the Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System complete the infotainment program. 

Even greater confidence on the road: the driver assist systems

The compact Audi SQ2 is also at the cutting edge in its segment in terms of driver assist systems. It comes with the Audi pre sense front safety system as standard. This system can contribute to preventing potential accidents involving pedestrians, cyclists, or other vehicles in front of the car or reducing their severity.

The adaptive cruise assist, which can help the driver in many situations with accelerating, decelerating, and steering within the lane, is a new addition to the optional systems. In order to maintain lateral guidance, the driver only needs to touch the capacitive steering wheel gently, which is part of the system, to prove that they are paying attention. In combination with the camera-based traffic sign recognition, the adaptive cruise assist ensures that the car decelerates in certain situations, for example when approaching speed limits and town signs. As soon as the restricted area ends, it accelerates the SQ2 again. The park assist is another optional system. It steers the sports SUV into and out of parking spaces automatically. 

From EUR 45,700: presales of the SQ2 have already started

Presales of the revised Audi SQ2 have already started in Germany and other European countries. Deliveries are scheduled to start at the beginning of 2021. The prices in Germany start at EUR 45,700 (including 19 percent value added tax).

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About the Author

Written work on dsf.my. @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.



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