The new Audi SQ2 brings super-hatch pace to SUVs

By topgear, 01 October 2018

We knew an Audi SQ2 was coming. It was logical that Audi would crown its smallest crossover’s range with a go-fast, look-at-my-four-exhaust-pipes flagship.

But we didn’t think it would be this fast. The new Audi SQ2 is, as it turns out, a bit of a closet rocketship.

The SQ2 uses the VW Group’s ubiquitous 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but instead of bowing in in Golf GTI tune (242bhp), it’s working at a full-fat 296bhp and 400Nm – the same muscle as the VW Golf R. Or, indeed, Audi S3. No wonder it’s quick.

Obviously, being an S-car, it’s got Quattro drive. And it’s supplied via a seven-speed DSG transmission, so 0-100kph is dusted in a claimed 4.8 seconds. The top speed is limited to 250kph. A standard Porsche Cayman won’t keep up with this chunky Tonka toy of a hatchback. And it’s a tenth swifter than BMW’s fastest X2, which actually has a couple more horsepowers. Hah! Ingolstadt one, Munich, nil.

All of which is more entertaining when you stand back and look at the, er, one picture Audi has sent us of the SQ2. Subtle, innit? A smudge of black detailing about the grilles, wheels only 19 inches across, and a presumably optional ‘quattro’ motif emblazoned on the sill are all that separate it from your run-of-the-mill Q2 S-line. The SQ2’s 20mm ride height drop isn’t immediately obvious either. Yep, a ride height drop in a taller version of a hatchback. Seriously, don’t get us started.

So, it’s a less obvious-looking, equally powerful rival to the BMW X2 M35i, and now we’ve got the beginnings of a new fragment in the hot hatch war. Once there’s an AMG version of the new Mercedes GLA, there’ll be a whole new realm of German power wars to pontificate over. 

Won’t that be nice?