The spy pictures were all over the internet for months and we already knew the following: the success of the newly launched A7 will be a factor for Audi when deciding whether to import the A5 Sportback to the good old USA. So what exactly is the A5 Sportback? Well, it's Audi's answer to the current "four-door coupe" craze. Sales of the Mercedes-Benz CLS (the first of this genre to hit the market), has continued to be strong, so Audi must feel it can succeed here as well.
Whether or not it lasts, these cars certainly attract a lot of buyers who'd love to have a luxury sports coupe, but for numerous reasons, are forced to shop for a four-door sedan. This styling solves this dilemma. Based off the A4, the A5 Sportback fills the niche between the A4 wagon and the A5 coupe, with a goofy looking roofline that reminds me of a beached whale. Audi is claiming it didn't design the A5 Sportback to be a niche model and believes it has the potential to be a sales success. However, when it comes to the engine department, Audi isn't holding back.
There's no shortage of engine choices -a total of six - and all of them are direct-injected and turbocharged. There are three (yes, three) TDI diesels which includes a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 170 hp, a 2.7-liter V6 with 190 hp, and a 240 hp V6. For the gasoline engine lineup, buyers will have their choice of a 2.0 liter turbo four with 180 hp or 211 hp, or a 3.2 liter V6 with 265 horsepower. Got all of that? Good, because here comes the transmission options. Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual, Audi's Multitronic CVT, or a seven-speed S tronic double clutch.
Everybody still with me? Fantastic. Be sure not to forget to choose between front-wheel-drive or the Quattro all-wheel-drive setups. Wow...and Audi still plans to offer three more engine options in the near future. With the recent launch of the $65,000 (base price) A7 four-door coupe, the A5 would slot below it in terms of both price and size. The A7 has the A8's 4.2-liter V8, so a smaller, less powerful and slightly cheaper A5 Sportback might be an attractive addition to the US Audi lineup.
In addition, with the global economic recession still not recovering as quickly as everyone has been hoping for, buyers may feel it necessary to cut back on spending and, heaven forbid, spill out less money on that spanking new Audi and opt for an A5 Sportback over an A7. The A5 Sportback has a European base price of around $47,000 and tops off near $68,000, so expect that range to cross the pond as well. And there you have it. Audi has combined two of its highly acclaimed models (A5 coupe and A4 wagon) into a single car that could satisfy those wanting in on the "four-door coupe" phenomenon.
I'm not 100% sure on the styling, but it's possible it'll look better in person.