Until now,Â 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 AutocarÂ 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?Â
Deep into development and due out next year, the next-generation SQ5’s handling receivedÂ extra attention from Audi engineers to make it more involving to drive. What does involvement mean, specifically? Oversteer.
We typically don’t associateÂ things like oversteer with crossover vehicles. Due to their naturally higher center of gravity, holdingÂ 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 beÂ livelier to drive than the standard Q5, you’ll have to pay more if you wantÂ oversteer. Power slides â€” if the electronic traction nannies allow them â€” will be largely dependent onÂ an optional sports differential on the Quattro all-wheel systemâ€™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 companyÂ is also rumored to be toying with the SQ5’s bigger sibling, the SQ7. There are rumors of using theÂ 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]