It’s no secret that Audi is working on a hotter version of its Q2 compact crossover called the SQ2, as evidenced by numerous spyshots of the model. Now, the German automaker has released the first official photo and details of the SQ2 ahead of the Paris Motor Show.

Mechanically, the SQ2 draws upon the Volkswagen Golf R as well as the Audi S3, whereby a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine delivers on the grunt, all 296 hp (300 PS) and 400 Nm of it.

The mill is mated to a seven-speed DSG S tronic automatic transmission and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system is present as well. From a rest, the SQ2 will take just 4.8 seconds to complete a 0-100 km/h sprint, which is faster than what a base 718 Cayman is capable of (5.1 seconds). The SQ2’s top speed is capped at 250 km/h.

Looking at the available rivals, the BMW X2 M35i and its 302 hp will require 4.9 seconds for the century sprint, while the AMG version of the Mercedes-Benz GLA (375 hp) takes 4.4 seconds. To cope with the power, Audi has fitted 340 mm front and 310 mm brake discs, along with sportier suspension – 20 mm lower ride height and stiffer.

Styling-wise, the SQ2 gets a new grille featuring vertical slats, working inlets on the front bumper, LED headlamps, 18- or 19-inch wheels and you can have the brake calipers painted in black or red. Barring any rear shots of the car, we do know that a revised bumper and quad exhaust pipes are present based on what we’ve seen on test mules.

Inside, Audi says its virtual cockpit will get some unique S touches and there will be plenty of S branding as well. Leather and fabric seats are standard, with the latter replacable with Alcantara as a cost option. Order books for the SQ2 will be open before the end of 2018, with deliveries expected to begin in early 2019.

GALLERY: Audi SQ2 spyshots

GALLERY: Audi Q2 at the 2017 Bangkok Motor Show

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