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Audi Previews SQ5 Crossover Ahead Of Detroit Reveal 8
Jan
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2014 Audi SQ5, audi, auto show, Automotive, Crossovers, Detroit-Auto-Show, Kurt on 01 8th, 2013

2014 Audi SQ5 crossover – image: Audi AG

America is the land of the crossover and the SUV, a strange and foreign place where consumers eschew hatchbacks for the less practical sedan, and where the words “station wagon” are viewed with the same distaste as the words “sewage spill.”

Or so it is believed in the hallowed halls of German automakers. Need proof? BMW, for one, isn’t bringing its superb M135i hot hatch here, but instead we’ll allegedly see a sedan version with the same drivetrain. Audi isn’t importing its ultimate sleeper, the RS6 Avant station wagon, to these shores either. Our consolation prize, of sorts, appears to be the Audi SQ5 “hot crossover.”

2014 Audi SQ5 crossover – image: Audi AG

Leaked by Audi of America ahead of next week’s Detroit Auto Show, the SQ5 gets a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, rated at 354 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque and bolted to an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission. Audi’s traction-enhancing quattro all-wheel drive is standard, too, and the combination is good enough to produce a 0-60 time of just 5.3 seconds, which Audi calls best-in-class.

2014 Audi SQ5 crossover – image: Audi AG

To ensure that the SQ5 tackles corners as well as straights, the body sits just over an inch lower than on other Q5 models. Springs and dampers are stiffer, and 20-inch wheels shod with 255/45-series tires are standard issue (though 21-inch wheels are an available option). If the included electromechanical steering isn’t your thing, you can upgrade to Audi’s optional dynamic steering, included as part of the Drive Select system.

2014 Audi SQ5 crossover – image: Audi AG

Outside, the SQ5 is distinguished by the platinum gray grille with aluminum-look bars, aluminum mirrors, unique bumpers and a roof spoiler. Inside, black is the order of the day, but this can be dressed up with contrasting color sport seats and a choice of inlay trim (though the standard brushed aluminum is still our pick).

Audi will release pricing on the SQ5 closer to the model’s launch, which is set for the third quarter of 2013.



Mercedes-Benz Shows Its New GLK Class Ahead Of New York Debut 23
Mar
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK, Automotive, Crossovers, Kurt, Mercedes Benz, SUVs on 03 23rd, 2012

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK. Image: Mercedes-Benz

Good news for those looking for a compact crossover with a three-pointed star on the hood: Mercedes-Benz has an all-new GLK Class coming to dealers, and they’re rolling it out at next month’s New York Auto Show. As is usually the case these days, Mercedes has released images of the new GLK in advance of the show, and we’ll admit that it’s much better looking than the version it replaces. Styling isn’t radically different from the current version, but rounding the GLK’s somewhat harsh lines really cleans up the exterior. While the current GLK looks awkward, the new GLK manages to pull off elegant.

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK. Image: Mercedes-Benz

The inside is all new, and notable changes include moving the gear lever from the center console to the steering column. This improves ergonomics, but also frees up center console space for things like cup holders, which are essentially unneeded in any market outside of the United States. Mercedes calls the GLK’s interior “even more premium” than before, and says that material choice is comparable to a higher class of vehicle. We hope so, since even mainstream manufacturers have stepped up their interior quality in recent years.

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK. Image: Mercedes-Benz

The real news is with the GLK’s powertrain options, since Mercedes is adding a 2.1-liter BlueTEC diesel to the GLK range this year. Horsepower from the diesel is a modest 190 hp, but torque is rated at an impressive 369 pound-feet. Opt for the diesel engine, and you’ll also get Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system for sure-footed traction.

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK. Image: Mercedes-Benz

The 3.5-liter V-6 returns for the 2013 GLK, but gets a bump to 302 hp (from 268 hp) and 273 pound-feet of torque (from 258 lb-ft). This engine can be had with either rear-wheel drive or the aforementioned 4Matic all-wheel-drive.

Look for the new GLK to hit Mercedes dealers this summer.







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