Next Generation Audi SQ5 To Get Own Tire-Killing 'Drift Mode'

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Thought Mercedes' and BMW’s high-po SUVs were hot stuff? So did we until Audi leaked this tidbit of information.

With all of the extra special editions and never before seen performance variants being added to SUV lineups, automakers are running into the issue of having overly complex car names that translate to jumbled badges at the rear. Think BMW’s X6 M, or in this case, Audi’s upcoming SQ5, both of which do a good job of moving their heavy bodies quickly on straights and around corners. The performance SUV, what used to be an oxymoron, is becoming more prevalent, and as Autocar has just found, Audi is about to push things to the next level.

Speaking with an unnamed source who’s a senior engineer at Audi, the British motoring publication found out that the next generation SQ5 will get a feature that’s quite unusual for an SUV, even one of the performance variety. That feature is the ability to drift. It’s unclear whether this means that the SQ5 will get a drift mode similar to the one in the Ford Focus RS or if it just means that the suspension, tires, and traction control will be engineered with the ability to hang in the balance of oversteer, but either way the proposition is an enticing one. Like most Audis, the SQ5 will come with Quattro all-wheel drive, but in order to drift, it will reserve the authority to send the engine’s entire power yield to the rear tires.

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In order to break traction, the SQ5 will come with an optional sports differential fed by one of two turbocharged V6 motors, a gasoline engine or a diesel. We hope that the US-bound gasoline version will top the current SQ5’s 354 horsepower rating since its 4,000-plus pound curb weight needs all the motivation it can get. Additional SQ5 spec goodies will help the mammoth SUV stay composed in the corners. These include standard steel springs and passive dampers with air suspension being an optional extra, all of which are being tested in icy Arjeplog, Sweden. An adjustable dynamic steering system will make corrections an easy chore as well, but don’t expect to experience that before the SQ5’s 2018 launch date.

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