Audi Announces 2023 Model Year Updates For the US

2023 Model

The German automaker will be expanding its EV lineup later this year. Audi is now updating its US product portfolio for the 2023 model year.

The Ingolstadt brand is introducing the 2023 model year for the United States. Audi’s 2023 MY lineup will get a slew of minor and major updates across the company’s portfolio. Every single Audi model now gets additional standard and optional equipment. These include the entry-level Audi A3 and Q3 variants and the top-of-the-line A8 and Q8 offerings.

Audi will also be expanding its EV portfolio later this year. The automaker will add the Audi Q4 e-tron Q4 Sportback e-tron to its lineup. For now, the 40 and 45 variants of the 2023 Audi A4 get LED headlights with integrated LED DRLs. One will also find a Bang and Olufsen sound system in the Premium Plus trim of the nameplate, and the convenience package for the entire A4 range now gets the adaptive cruise control feature.

Audi is also updating the appearance options for the 2023 A4, including new wheels. In addition to a wide range of equipment, the Premium variant of Audi A6 and S7 now get adaptive cruise control as standard. As part of the Executive package, Audi now offers the 2023 RS7 with a remote park assist feature and a black Dinamica headliner.

Audi Announces 2023 Model Year Updates For the US

For its 2023 model year, the adaptive cruise control feature is standard across all Q5 and SQ5 variants.

November last year, the 2022 Audi A8 facelift made its world debut. As a result of this, the 2023 update now gets only minor updates across the range. Audi A8 customers opting for the German automaker’s Comfort Plus package will now get HD matrix design LED headlights. Audi will now offer the high-octane S8 version with a Valcona leather interior.

SUVs and crossovers are the best-selling body types in the market right now. Nevertheless, Audi did not refrain from updating its range for the 2023 model year. The automaker’s Q3 nameplate now gets a wireless phone charging pad and LED headlights with LED daytime running lights as standard across the lineup.

The company also offers an optional appearance package for the 40 and 45 variants of the Q3, which gets new wheel options. Perhaps one of the most significant changes for the 2023 model year is a new entry-level engine option for the Audi Q7. The SUV now gets a 2-liter four-cylinder motor which churns out 261 HP of maximum power.

Lastly, Audi’s flagship Q8 and SQ8 models also get HD matrix design LED headlights and headlight washers as standard for the 2023 model year.

Image source: Audi

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Audi Urbansphere Concept is a Futuristic Vision For Urban Travel


Audi Urbansphere concept vehicle gets Audi’s PPE electric vehicle platform and charging (up to 270kW fast) capability.

Earlier in February, the Head of Audi Design Marc Lichte discussed the gorgeous Audi Skysphere concept. The car draws inspiration from the controversial and mysterious Horch 853. Even though Audi Skysphere is quite an eye-catching grand tourer concept, we were impatiently waiting for Audi’s take on a futuristic utility vehicle, since crossovers and SUVs are the most popular body types in the market. The wait is over as the Ingolstadt brand recently unveiled the all-new Audi Urbansphere concept.

Audi Urbansphere is the final installment of Audi’s next-generation concept cars. The Sphere concepts showcase how the Ingolstadt brand’s electric architecture will underpin its autonomous offerings in the future. The utility vehicle gets Level 4 autonomous driving features and is the largest Audi concept. For context, the Urbansphere is 500 mm longer than the Q7 SUV, which is the biggest product in Audi’s portfolio.

The powertrain of the Audi Urbansphere gets a dual electric motor setup. The EV’s 120 kWh battery pack can deliver 466 miles of range (WLTP) and also churns out 400 HP of maximum power and around 509 lb-ft of peak torque. Audi’s Premium Platform Electric (PPE) vehicle architecture underpins the all-new Urbansphere concept. The vehicle rides on 24-inch wheels and comes complete with adaptive air suspension and rear-axle steering.


“Audi Light Canvas” is an LED digital light surface that dominates the front end of the Urbansphere instead of a traditional grille.

Even with its imposing dimensions, Audi claims that it designed the new concept car for applications in megacities. In an official press release, the company also reveals that Audi is targeting the Chinese market with its Urbansphere concept. For the uninitiated, China happens to be the world’s largest electric vehicle market.

With the help of a “co-creation” approach, the teams at Audi’s design studios in Beijing were able to finalize the design of the Audi Urbansphere while accounting for the needs of customers across Beijing. Chairman of the Board Management at Audi AG, Markus Duesmann, shared his thoughts on the new Urbansphere concept. “To make e-mobility even more attractive, we think about it holistically and from the customer’s needs,” says Markus.

Image Source: Audi

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2021 Audi SQ5 Review: Sports Car in Luxury SUV Clothing

2021 Audi SQ5

The Audi SQ5 jams the power and handling dynamics of the S5 and S4 into the taller Q5 platform. It’s a total blast, but is it worth $72,000?

Today we’re taking a look at the 2021 Audi SQ5, a muscular mid-sized SUV with a turbocharged V6 engine, snappy handling, sports car seating, and a sumptuous interior.

It ain’t what you call cheap, staring over $50,000 and as-tested at around $72 grand, but it may be one of the best all-around family vehicles on the market for enthusiasts who know that life’s too short to drive boring. (#NoMinivans)

Prefer to watch our Audi SQ5 review on YouTube?
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Is the SQ5 right for you? Read on!

Q5 vs SQ5

2021 Audi Q5

2021 Audi Q5. Photograph (c) Audi USA.

Let’s back up and first define the Q5 series as a whole. Recently refreshed, the mid-sized luxury Q5 is available with two engine options, three trim levels (Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige), and two body styles (SUV and Sportback). The entry-level engine is a 16-valve turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder making 261 HP and 273 lb-ft of torque. This configuration’s good for a 5.7-second 0-60 run. Or you can opt for the Hybrid system, which boosts the 2.0L up to 362-hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. This drops 0-60 runs down to 5-seconds, but it’s the heaviest of the bunch.

Audi SQ5

Chrome reduction for the win!

Stepping up the ladder, we have the sporty SQ5.

Under the SQ5’s hood, you’ll find a turbocharged 3.0L V6 pumping out 349 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque. Yes, it’s the same engine found in the S4 and S5. And yes, it’s less powerful than the Hybrid Q5… BUT, the SQ5, at 4,288 lbs, weighs 331 fewer pounds than the Hybrid. Which gives the SQ5 a straight-line advantage and an Audi-quoted 4.7-second 0-60 time. (For reference, in my testing, the best I could manage was 5.4 seconds, so your experience may vary.)

There are other variances we could discuss, but the quick version is that the Q5 is more luxury and comfort where the SQ5 adds performance driving dynamics and sportier visuals to the equation.

As Tested

SQ5 headlight

The Audi eye SEES ALL!

Audi loaned us a 2021 Audi SQ5 Prestige for review and provided one tank of premium fuel. SQ5 pricing starts at $52,900 — a $10,000 premium over the base Q5 — but our loaner included the following options:

  • District Green Metallic paint for $595
  • Prestige Package for $9,800
  • S sport package for $3,000
  • Dynamic steering for $1,150
  • Black optic package for $600 PLUS the $1,000 for the black optic wheels
  • Fine Napa leather seats for $1,000
  • Carbon Atlas inlays for $500
  • Rear side airbags for $350

Toss in destination and delivery and our MSRP hits $71,790.

Audi SQ5 side

Red brake calipers = fast! (It’s the law.)

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SQ5 Visual Aesthetics

Audi SQ5 front grille

Lookin’ mean and green out front.

In and of itself, the SQ5 remains relatively faithful to its Q5 cousins, visually. It’s a chunky little SUV that’s been smoothed and carved away from the days of boxes on wheels. In short, it’s fine.

But add the optional Black optic package and larger wheels and suddenly the SQ5 stands out a little more from the pack. More muscular. More menacing. It’s not loud, mind you. But reducing the shiny bits draws eyes more to the SUV’s hips and curves and shiny red brake calipers.

Audi SQ5 rear

Four of these things are not real…

The other standout feature on our loaner is the paint. District Green Metallic is a bit of a chameleon. At night and under a cloudy sky, it looks a bit like an aftermarket wrap. Some type of military-style green that’s not quite shiny and not quite flat. (Think a green version of Nardo Grey.) But when the sun shines, District Green Metallic reveals its true nature — a gold metallic flake that shines and shimmers.

It’s a bit love-it-or-hate-it in photos. But in person, it’s a big win. At least for me.

District Green Metallic

Lose yourself inside the flakes of district green metallic.

In terms of negatives, I’m not a fan of the fake quad-tip exhaust tips — as in they are connected to no part of the exhaust — even though they look sporty.

Overall the SQ5 is a bit of a sleeper, aesthetically. But as configured, it’s a sharp SUV that looks terrific, even if it blends in with almost every other Audi product.

SQ5 Performance & Handling

Audi SQ5 wheels with red brakes

Where the rubber meets the road. Literally.

In a world where sports cars routinely run to 60 in under four or three seconds, the SQ5 ain’t gonna win you any bragging rights. Still, its power-to-weight ratio delivers a relatively thrilling experience. Especially for an SUV.

Mash the pedal to the ground and the SQ5 leaps forward. Turbocharged torque hits hard and races you up to illegal speeds with only a touch of torque steer. Toss the SQ5 into a corner and it’s wonderfully balanced in its lowest air suspension modes. Speaking of which, the SQ5’s suspension is terrific — both tight and sporty in the corners, but able to mask all but the harshest bumps. And, if you’re looking to do some light off-roading, you can raise up the SQ5, which only adds to the sensation of driving on a pillow.


Forget what Audi you’re driving? No problem. Just look out back.

As I said earlier, the SQ5 drives very much like a sports car but sacrifices none of the comforts. And with this power level, it’s a vehicle where you can enjoy its abilities at a full ten-tenths. Which of course encourages you to find its limits.

Overall, it’s a joy to drive, but there are two downsides.

As with most turbocharged engines, this 3.0L V6 dies out a little early in the revs, which makes the SQ5 feel quick off the line when the torque hits, but slower at highway speeds. Further, the SQ5’s transmission isn’t the quickest to downshift. Which, when coupled with the engine’s turbo lag, can feel like two back-to-back power-kicks at some speeds.

P Zero tires

Cursed be these inferior summer tires! (<– Opinion based on personal experience.)

The other thing I’d like to see is Audi dumping the Pirelli summer tires on this particular package. Taking the SQ5 around a tight corkscrew freeway onramp, I found the squealing edge of the Pirellis’ grip, something I never feel when driving Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires at similar speeds.

Overall, though, the SQ5 is a total blast. And equally at home commuting as it is playing in the twisties.

SQ5 Interior

SQ5 interior

Is your leather from Napa or Sonoma? And what’s the vintage?

I’d venture to say that, after its all-wheel-drive systems, Audi might be best known for its quality interiors. And the SQ5 is no different. The optional fine Napa leather seating wraps around perfectly bolstered heated sport buckets. Rear seating includes just enough leg and headroom for taller passengers, although not as much as a similarly sized EV crossover like the Mustang Mach E. Touch surfaces and materials aren’t the fanciest Audi offers, but they’re very good overall.

Click on any of these photos to see the larger file!

In the tech department, Audi’s gauges and infotainment touchcreens are sharp, clear, and snappy to operate. And the upgraded Prestige stereo system sounds quite good as well. But I don’t love the way Audi organizes the system’s menu systems and it would be nice to see wireless Apple CarPlay at this price point. I was also a bit surprised to see cooled front seats missing from a $72,000 vehicle. But they are available as part of a $600 package that also includes window shades.

center console

Shift this, man!

Lastly, the vehicle’s center console layout is a bit odd to my tastes. There are several small cubbies that would work well for a phone, but don’t quite fit them. And trying to use the cup holders with the phone charger and the armrest is a bit of a challenge. Minor quibbles, of course.

Overall, Audi’s interiors are generally excellent, and few nitpicks aside, this one’s no different.

Who Should Buy an Audi SQ5

Audi Sq5

Fun and sporty, but is it large enough for your lifestyle?

Is the Audi SQ5 right for your lifestyle? That depends, of course. If you’re into sports cars, the SQ5 isn’t going to blow you away. This isn’t a full RS model, after all. Nor is the SQ5 for anyone who needs a larger SUV for families with more than four people or lots of cargo.

Instead, the SQ5 finds a happy middle ground. Perfect for smaller families. An amazingly comfortable commuter. And all the fun-factor of the S4 and S5 with a little extra cargo room in terms of overall value. The 3.0L turbo V6 provides a lot of torque and smiles per gallon with an adjustable, tight suspension customizable to your tastes and needs. Picking up the kids. Running to the Home Depot. Roaring through the canyons.

You name it and the Audi SQ5 is a total blast.

But if you prefer extra capacity to sportiness, check out the Q7, which also offers this 3.0L turbo V6 along with three-row seating. Cheers!

Photos: Michael S. Palmer