Performance crossover attempts to go undercover as standard model

A prototype believed to be the upcoming Audi SQ2 has been spied again in Europe, this time inside and out.

While this vehicle looks like a standard version of the Q2, there are some clues indicating underneath the understated skin is a powerful little beast.

Key changes include the quad-tipped exhaust out the back – a trademark of current Audi 'S' models – along with the bigger brakes behind the alloy wheels branded with the 'S' logo.

Despite our photographers snapping the interior for the first time, it appears this prototype is a standard Q2 fitted with the performance model's upgraded mechanical package, as the trims and design lacks any differentiation to the core range.

What you can expect, however, are beefier sports seats available in cloth/leather combination or full leather, Audi's Virtual Cockpit digital instruments with specific menus as per other S models, along with the option of carbon-fibre cabin inserts.

Also expect a more aggressive bodykit, unique alloy wheels, and SQ2 badging on the production model.

Power is expected to come from a version of the 2.0-litre turbo four found in the related Audi S3 and Volkswagen Golf R, paired with a dual-clutch automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive.

Outputs are likely to be in the vicinity of current Audi hot hatches, which currently develop 228kW and 400Nm in European trim – local models are slightly detuned to 213kW and 380Nm due to our 'hot climate'.

That's a decent wallop more than the Q2's current flagship, the 2.0 TFSI quattro, which makes 140kW and sprints to 100km/h from a standstill in 6.5 seconds. Expect the SQ2 to reduce that figure to around 5.0 seconds, and have an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h.

We haven't heard official word from Audi as to when the SQ2 will debut in production form, though we're betting the new performance crossover should surface before year's end – possibly around or at the Paris motor show in October.

Until then, stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest updates.