The coupe-SUV segment has a brand new entrant.
After Audi confirmed that a Q5 Sportback would be on the way earlier this year, the covers have now come off the new coupe-SUV that will compete directly with the BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe. The Q5 Sportback features bolder styling than the similarly sized Q5 crossover, with an octagonal Singleframe grille in front, a tapered rear end with a sloping window, and big wheels measuring up to 21 inches.
Audi makes special mention of its rear digital OLED lighting technology, which is more advanced than the usual LEDs and more customizable. Although the coupe-like Audi Q8 looks fantastic, the smaller Q5 Sportback seems less successful in its efforts to evoke the allure of a sleek coupe, although these things are purely subjective.
Audi says that the Q5 Sportback will look a bit different depending on whether it's specified with the "Advanced" or "S line" styling. Although it is 0.3 inches longer than the Q5, the Q5 Sportback's unique shape sees cargo capacity drop from 25.1 cubic feet to a maximum of 20.1 cubes.
The rest of the cabin is typically Audi, though, with high-quality materials and tech such as the quicker MIB 3 infotainment system and an available 12.3-inch digital instrument display. Available driver-assist innovations include adaptive cruise control, cross-traffic assist, and predictive efficiency assist, which can automatically adjust speed based on traffic and route scenarios.
In Europe, the Q5 Sportback will be offered with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel producing 201 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, along with another four-cylinder TDI, a V6 TDI, two TFSI gas variants, and a plug-in hybrid. However, North American versions are likely to utilize the same 2.0-liter TFSI engine as found in the 2021 Audi Q5, which produces 261 hp and 273 lb-ft and makes use of a 12V mild-hybrid system.
In the latest Q5, the PHEV pairs a TFSI engine with an electric motor and produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft. For the performance-hungry, an SQ5 Sportback will follow, which is highly likely to use the 349-hp V6 from the SQ5.
Audi says that the Q5 Sportback's standard sport suspension features specific tuning for a "more direct road feel" than in the Q5, and an adaptive air suspension will be offered, along with optional dynamic steering. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and Audi's quattro system are fitted, although the SQ5 Sportback will likely utilize the eight-speed Tiptronic from the SQ5.
The all-new Q5 Sportback will be built at Mexico's San Jose Chiapa plant and will be launched internationally in the first half of 2021. Although Audi did not indicate pricing, we expect the coupe-SUV to carry a premium over the more conservative Q5, which starts at $43,300. Audi's other Sportback models, such as the e-tron S Sportback, starts at around $2,000 more than the e-tron S.