audis-newest-powerhorse-suv-sq5-debut-naias-2013 At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) from 14 – 27 January in Detroit, MI, Audi will kick off the year with the presentation of the new Audi SQ5.

The SQ5 represents the first petrol engined variant in the range. The powerplant churns a whopping 354 hp and 470 Nm of torque. The new top-of-the-line model, which was designed specifically for markets such as the United States, Canada and China, uses a 3.0 TFSI free-revving, supercharged engine with forced induction. It sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited). Consumption and emissions wise, the SQ5 records an average 8.5 liters per 100 km in the NEDC and about 199 grams per kilometer. Along with an 8-speed tiptronic and quattro all-wheel drive (AWD), the SQ5 lets the driver switch gears manually via the standard shift paddles on the steering.

Exterior distinctions equate to a platinum gray radiator grille with its horizontal double bars in aluminum look, the distinctive bumpers and roof spoiler. V6 T badges on the front fenders, gloss package and exterior mirrors in aluminum, and two exclusive crystal-effect finishes: Estoril Blue and Panther Black. Standard equipment include xenon plus headlights with LED daytime driving lights, 20″ wheels and 255/45-series tyres and a stainless-steel loading-sill protector. For those who prefers bigger wheels, 21″ are available.

The chassis of the Audi SQ5 lowers the body 30 millimeters. The springs and shock absorbers are more tautly tuned for a sporty and balanced setup. Moreover, the brake calipers on the front axle sport the SQ5 badge.

Driver feedbacks and handling present precise road feel, all credited to the electromechanical steering. Audi also offers the optional dynamic steering with a steplessly variable ratio. Control of it is integrated in the optional Audi drive select system, which allows the driver to switch among several modes in various systems.

Sportiness carries over to the interior. The instruments feature gray dials and white numerals; the pedals and shift paddles have a shiny aluminum-look finish. Black is the general interior scheme to match the SQ5’s brushed aluminium interior inlays, with the headlining optionally available in Moon Silver, whereas the sport seats take up a combination of Pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara, with four different colors of leather optional. Further conveniences include a driver information system with color display with an array of optional assistance and infotainment systems such as; MMI navigation plus and the Bluetooth online car phone, and luggage load capacity of up to 1,560 liters.

The SQ5 is scheduled to arrive at U.S. dealerships in the third quarter of 2013, including Russia, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and the Ukraine. In Deutschland and many other European markets, the SQ5 TDI takes its place as the sporty top model in its series.