Making its debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit is the new Audi SQ5, the high-performance version of the SUV, now in its second generation.

New here is a 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 engine (from the S4 and S5), which provides 354 hp and 500 Nm of torque, replacing the previous car’s 3.0 litre supercharged V6 (354 hp/470 Nm). Audi says the new mill is 14 kg lighter than before and features a twin-scroll turbo, which is located within the 90-degree V of the cylinder banks for a more compact construction and shorter gas flow paths with minimal flow losses.

The mill sends its power through an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and Audi’s proprietary quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, with the latter being slightly rear-axle bias. Performance-wise, you’re looking at a 0-100 km/h sprint time of just 5.4 seconds (0.4 seconds faster than before), while the top speed is electronically-limited at 250 km/h.

In terms of dynamics, the SQ5 is equipped with adaptive air suspension and an optional sport differential that actively distributes torque between the rear wheels via two superposition stages, and can send it all to one wheel if necessary. Also available is a dynamic steering system, which varies its gear ratio depending on the car’s speed and steering angle. These systems, along with the engine and transmission response rate, are controlled via the Audi drive select system.

To make sure no one confuses the SQ5 with a standard model, the SUV comes with sportier bumpers front and back, featuring S-specific air intakes, a diffuser, double vertical grille slats, quad exhaust tailpipes and S-specific badging. Inside, there are S sport seats upholstered in Alcantara/leather, which can also be upgraded to Nappa leather. More S logos can be found on the illuminated door sills and steering wheel bearing them.

Plenty of equipment available as well, starting with the MMI navigation plus, MMI all-in-touch and an 8.3-inch display. Elsewhere, there’s the SQ5-exclusive sport display mode for the Audi Virtual Cockpit, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, optional heads-up display, along with a comprehensive safety and driver assistance suite.