The hot hatch. A European staple. Here in North America, few even know that such a thing exists. The formula is simple, take a small hatchback, and make it go fast. But this is the Americas. We have wide open highways that span thousands of miles, rugged dirt roads leading to mountains, deserts and forests and dog gone we get out and make the most of our diverse continent. None of us want to travel through this vast unpredictable playground in a rock hard miniature lunchbox.
Enter the 2016 Audi SQ5. With 354 HP and 347 Ft lbs of torque from it’s Turbocharged 3 litre V6, this lifted hot hatch will leave you bewildered at how Audi was able to hide an entire S4 within the shell of an ordinary Q5. Run through the 8 speed automatic connected to Quattro All Wheel Drive, and 0-60 comes up in a scant 5.1 seconds with a top speed of 250 kph. Yes that’s right, you, your wife, the kids, and your bike rack can enjoy an acceleration experience similar to what was felt on Apollo 11.
But fear not, this Autobahn stormer on stilts holds its own when the road goes all squiggly. Throw it into a corner too quickly and feel your face being peeled off slowly in one direction as your organs reassign their order one over another. Enter the next corner even faster while upshifting, and hear the electronic baffles in the exhaust open to release a burst of machine gun fire between gear changes. But that’s not all the SQ5 has up its sleeve.
With 824 litres of cargo space with the rear seats up (1623 with the seats folded), Nappa leather, 14 speaker Bang & Olufsen surround sound, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitors and a power lift gate to top it all off, the lifestyle of your choice will get a little bit more attention, be it by getting there more quickly, or by being able to literally fit all of it inside. Speed, practicality, ruggedness and comfort. The hot hatch may have 2 bases covered, but in North America, only the SQ5 can hit a home run.
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