Why the 2014 Audi SQ5 Matters:
Years ago, a book titled “The Influentials” posited that for any given subject matter, 90% of consumers looked to the other 10% for advice, counsel, and guidance about what to buy. Within a given category, this 10% of the population is considered to be influential. In the realm of automobiles, The Influentials are the car enthusiasts (and, increasingly, the technology geeks).
Keeping this theory in mind, take a look at what Audi has been doing with its lineup. It now sells sport-tuned versions of most of its cars: S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, and TTS. It has also launched a new RS line of high-performance models in the RS 5, RS 7, and TT RS. One reason for this is to better compete with the BMW M models and Mercedes-Benz AMG models. But Audi also knows that when car enthusiasts speak highly of Audi, car buyers are more likely to consider Audi.
That brings us to the new 2014 Audi SQ5, a new sport-tuned version of the 5-passenger Q5 SUV. When it goes on sale, the new 2014 SQ5 will compete against the BMW X3 xDrive35i, Infiniti QX70, and the Porsche Macan.
- Supercharged 3.0-liter V-6
- Torque-vectoring Quattro AWD
- Available Dynamic Steering
- Standard 20-inch wheels
- Modified exterior styling
- Special interior detailing
- Unique paint color choices
Take one Audi Q5, revise the front and rear styling, add a Platinum-color grille with horizontal bars, install a spoiler over the rear liftgate, apply liberal amounts of what the automaker calls Alu-Optic trim, and you’ve got yourself a 2014 SQ5. If that’s not enough to get the message across, the “V6T” fender badges, “SQ5” brake calipers, and Xenon Plus headlights with LED running lights might do the trick. And if the SUV has been dipped in Estoril Blue or Panther Black paint – exclusive colors to this model – there will be no mistaking the SQ5 for anything else.
Inside, the seats, the carpeting, the dashboard, the door panels, the pillar covers, and the headliner are black. If that’s too overwhelming, Audi offers an optional Moon Silver headliner, which looks nice with the standard aluminum inlays and Alu-Optic foot pedals and shifter paddles.New 2014 Audi SQ5: What’s Under the Hood
A supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine is standard for the 2014 Audi SQ5, rated to deliver 354 horsepower between 6,000 and 6,500 rpm and 347 lb.-ft. of torque from 4,000 to 4,500 rpm. That’s plenty to motivate an SUV that weighs about 4,150 pounds, and Audi says the new 2014 SQ5 will accelerate to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. Top speed is 155 mph.
An 8-speed automatic transmission with two driving modes and shifter paddles feeds the power to a standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which offers rear-wheel torque vectoring capability in this application. A lowered, sport-tuned suspension is standard, and a set of 20-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in P255/45R20 tires are bolted to it. Audi offers a 21-inch wheel-and-tire option for buyers seeking additional grip.New 2014 Audi SQ5: Features and Technology
Standard equipment for the 2014 Audi SQ5 includes power front sport seats wrapped in leather with Alcantara inserts. Four different colors are available for the seats, and the cabin’s standard aluminum inlays can be replaced with Carbon Atlas trim, Piano finish, or a layered aluminum and Beaufort Black wood treatment.
The new SQ5 is equipped with standard Audi Drive Select technology, which allows the driver to calibrate the SUV’s driving dynamics to one of three pre-determined settings, or to set up an Individual group of preferences.
Options for this model include a Dynamic Steering system, Audi MMI Navigation Plus, Audi Connect smartphone integration and telematics services, and an adaptive cruise control system. Additional details will be available as the SQ5 approaches its official on-sale date.New 2014 Audi SQ5: What Autobytel Thinks
Put every single option on a 2013 Audi Q5 3.0, and the price nears $65,000. That’s a hefty chunk of change for a vehicle that’s about the same size as a Toyota RAV4. Audi, however, likely doesn’t care about that. The 2014 SQ5 is about marketing, baby, about getting butts in seats, about making sure the enthusiast we all know and consult for advice about cars replies in answer to a question about luxury suvs: “Oh, you’ve gotta check out the Audi SQ5! It goes 0 to 60 in…blah, blah, blah.” Audi only cares that the trusted Influential uttered the brand.