Hot new 2018 Audi SQ2 officially confirmed

Audi has officially confirmed that a hot SQ2 SUV is on the way, though the new performance Q2 won"t be a full blooded RS model. 

Confirmed by company bosses at the annual Audi Press Conference, the SQ2 - which we"ve spied testing at the Nurburgring on numerous occasions - will arrive on sale later this year, and is expected to boast upwards of 250bhp. It"ll be one of 11 new SUVs from Audi planned to arrive in showrooms before the end of 2019. 

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The brand applied to register "SQ2" as a trademark with the global trademark office back in 2013, with first test mules appearing on track and on road almost two years ago, shortly after the regular Q2"s European market launch. 

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Audi SQ2 - red spied rear

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The pictures clearly show a tuned version of Audi"s latest crossover with the giveaway quad exhaust pipes and enlarged front air intakes, but without the bodykit and large wheels of previous spyshots. Large brakes are evident behind the shrunken wheels, however. 

Given the fact that Audi is testing the car both on and off track, we expect bosses are keen to make this one of the best handling cars in the crossover class. It"ll rival models like the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 – sitting below its bigger brother, the RS Q3.

The SQ2 is likely to use the four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo motor from the Audi S3 - there, it produces 296bhp, but given the Q2"s lower status in the Audi family it could be detuned to nearer 250bhp. With standard Quattro four-wheel drive, it would slot into the maker’s growing SQ range of hot SUVs alongside the SQ5 and new SQ7.

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“It is something we’re looking at,” admitted Stephan Knirsch, Audi’s Board member for Technical Development when speaking to Auto Express last year. “It would be relatively easy to do with MQB. The Q2 shares a lot with the A3, but we have to see what appetite there is for the more expensive Q2 models first.”

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Audi SQ2 spy shots - front cornering 2

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Knirsch admitted that it might be possible to pay around €45,000 (£35,000) for a Q2 if all the option boxes were ticked. And with prices for the Q2 set to run close to those of the equivalent A3 Sportback, we’d expect the basic price of an SQ2 to be in the region of £33,000.

The new Q2 SUV already features the same Progressive Steering system as the S3, so adding that car’s drivetrain is a logical next step. However, Audi insiders have hinted that there may be even more power in the pipeline, possibly featuring the 362bhp five-cylinder engine from the RS3. This, predictably, would be badged RS Q2.

What do you think of the prospect of a hot Audi SQ2? Let us know below...