Audi is electrifying the Q5 line soon, and this will be the last gas-powered SQ5.
The Audi SQ5 is a sporty twist on a popular SUV. Back in March, we spotted the plain-jane Q5 testing, out for one last ride before the SUV goes fully electric. Honestly, we're going to miss the SQ5 in its current form. When we tested it last, we scored it an 8.5/10. The last car's 349-hp turbo V6 provides plenty of get-up, and Audi's hyper-competent quattro AWD was a hit with our staff.
With any luck, this camouflaged test mule our spies saw will prove to be more of the same special sauce. It'll also be a nice update to the current Q5 range, much like that non-S we saw testing in March.
On the whole, the trim shares many things with the previous mule we spotted. The upright slats below the lights mimic that car, as does the newly-designed bumper. In fact, we don't see a ton of SQ5-specific changes up front, at least not while the camo is intact. Audi is sure to change that by the time the SQ5 debuts.
However, we do see some new wheels and a larger brake setup. That sounds much more like standard Audi S fare. Audi has also fitted some sort of contraption over the fuel door of this test car that wasn't there last time.
The design moves haven't changed a ton around back. Audi is still making use of what appear to be dummy tail lights, and the rear of the car is almost entirely unchanged. However, you'll notice that the rear of the car now has shiny new exhaust tips. This was the tip-off that gave away it was an SQ5 we were looking at.
What those pipes lead to, however, is still unknown. Audi could very well downsize the SQ5's engine, or it likely will run the tried-and-true turbo V6 for the next few years before the car goes electric. Either way, it has to make more power than the last car (that's the rule!). Perhaps Audi will get there with a mild-hybrid system? If it can work for the A3, it can work here too.