By on October 19, 2016

sq5 audi
Until now, the formula for most “sporting” crossovers was simple: make north of 300 horsepower and ensure the suspension can get a two-ton vehicle around a corner without drama.

That status quo may be changing, as Autocar reports that Audi is putting the finishing touches on a SQ5 focused specifically on creating a little drama in those corners.

Is Audi starting new trend or merely fixing the old one? 
Deep into development and due out next year, the next-generation SQ5’s handling received extra attention from Audi engineers to make it more involving to drive. What does involvement mean, specifically? Oversteer.

We typically don’t associate things like oversteer with crossover vehicles. Due to their naturally higher center of gravity, holding the road like a car is already an achievement. So, intentionally giving them driving dynamics that highlight this characteristic is well outside what could be considered the norm.

And Audi isn’t necessarily looking to make it the norm. While all new SQ5s should be livelier to drive than the standard Q5, you’ll have to pay more if you want oversteer. Power slides — if the electronic traction nannies allow them — will be largely dependent on an optional sports differential on the Quattro all-wheel system’s rear axle.

Steel springs and passive dampers will likely come as standard, with air springs and adaptive dampers as an option. Steering software will also be tweaked with dynamic variable steering system as optional.

The company is also rumored to be toying with the SQ5’s bigger sibling, the SQ7. There are rumors of using the larger crossover’s electric subsystem to power an electric turbo, active anti-roll bars, and rear-wheel steering.

Audi also has a plug-in hybrid version of the standard Q5 in development for 2018.

[Image: Audi]

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7 Comments on “Audi Planning a Driver’s Crossover With Lively Rear End...”


  • avatar

    That should make it a blast to drive. I had an SQ5 for a week and thought it handled far better than you’d expect any vehicle that high off of the ground to corner.

  • avatar
    Fred

    The thought of hanging the tail out in the family car seems stupid.

    • 0 avatar
      xtoyota

      Lots of stupid people around :=)
      Some voted twice for Obumer

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      The electronic sport differential is about reducing understeer without breaking the back end loose. If the goal were to break the back end loose, a tighter limited slip differential would probably be a better option.

      However, Car and Driver did find that those differentials created “spooky” behavior on high speed transitions on the S4 and S7. My buddy seems to think it was a contributing factor when he went off and kissed the tire wall in his S4.

      It is a strange feeling when you can reduce understeer by either backing off the throttle or getting on it harder, without ever coming close to breaking the rear end loose.

      My favorite aspect of the sport diff is that it allows you to spin in place on ice/snow at around 60 rpm. Other than that, I’d rather just have the standard Torsen back there. The sport diff would shave a few tenths from a lap time once you get used to getting on the power earlier, but that wouldn’t concern me in a vehicle like this. I’d want it for its accelerative capability on winter city roads and stability on winter highways. These things have real AWD (or at least did until very recently) and will hang the tail out on command in winter conditions with either rear diff.

      Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos.

  • avatar
    TybeeJim

    I had a Q5 2.0T and it was a perfectly good SUV, not a street racer. It does seem inane to make rockets out of these.I drove an SQ5 and it is seriously fast even for a lot of cars.Not a handler though. And all should be aware that the SQ5 and Porsche Macan share underpinnings. The Macan is now Porsche’s top-selling vehicle! I recall one comparo where the SQ5 beat a Macan Turbo around some race track! Oh, I now how a road rocket S3!

  • avatar

    A couple of years ago Audi was experimenting with active suspension, making the car bank in long bends – letting the car dip on the inside, contrary to what a car tends to do (i.e. dip on the outside). Haven’t heard from it in a long time.

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