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Auto Show:  2013 Detroit Auto Show

2014 Audi RS7 and SQ5: Detroit Auto Show

author photo by Nick Palermo January 2013
  • 2014 SQ5 packs 354-horsepower supercharged V6.
  • Twin-turbo V8 brings 560 horsepower to RS7.
  • Both models feature standard Quattro all-wheel drive.

Audi wowed attendees of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show with the world premiere of two high-performance models. The SQ5 builds on the popular Q5 sport utility with a host of performance upgrades including a 354-horsepower supercharged V6 engine. The RS7 Liftback, a variant of the stylish A7, meanwhile, debuted with a twin-turbocharged V8 producing a massive 560 hp. Both the 2014 Audi SQ5 and RS7 include standard Quattro all-wheel drive, lowered suspension, torque vectoring technology and exclusive details inside and out.

The SQ5 and RS7 both feature high-output versions of engines available in lesser models. In the SQ5, the 3.0-liter V6 produces 82 more hp than it does in the Q5. The extra power allows the small SUV to sprint from 0-60 mph in just over 5 seconds.

The RS7 uses an engine available in the S7, but the performance gap is even more significant. The RS7 has a 140-hp advantage over the S7.

Both the SQ5 and the RS7 send power through an 8-speed automatic transmission, and both also benefit from the added traction and improved handling that comes with Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system. The SQ5 gets a stiffer suspension than the Q5 for sportier and more responsive handling. The RS7 comes standard with an adaptive air suspension; a sport suspension with Audi's Dynamic Ride Control is offered as an option. In both vehicles, torque vectoring technology assists in hard cornering conditions by applying braking to individual wheels to help maintain the driver's intended direction.

The 2014 SQ5 sits on 20-inch or optional 21-inch wheels and sports several details that differentiate it from the standard Q5. Among these are a more aggressive grille with horizontal bars in place of vertical ones; a roof-mounted spoiler; gloss black and aluminum trim; and two exclusive exterior paint colors. Inside, the SQ5 gets standard sport seats and a range of trim choices that include carbon fiber accents.

Inside the 2014 RS7, carbon accents are standard. Also included are alcantara and leather sport seats stitched in a diamond pattern, aluminum-look pedals and switchgear, and a flat-bottomed, leather-wrapped steering wheel. The exterior of the RS7 gets exclusive front and rear fascia designs and a gloss-black grille with honeycomb mesh.

The 2014 Audi SQ5 and RS7 will offer drivers more performance and some exclusivity within the automaker's premium lineup. Audi expects the SQ5 to arrive in U.S. dealerships in the third quarter of 2013. An on-sale date for the RS7 has yet to be announced.

What it means to you: Although both the SQ5 and RS7 use versions of engines found in other models, only these performance models offer this much power -- along with exclusive styling.

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2014 Audi RS7 and SQ5: Detroit Auto Show - Autotrader