New Audi hatches
An A5 Sportback joins the family, writes NEILMcDONALD
AS FAMILIES go, Audi’s seems to grow bigger with each passing month. So it is no real surprise the German carmaker is about to add another newborn to its stable, the four-door A5 Sportback.
The newcomer joins the A5 coupe and cabrio line-up in the first quarter of next year.
As the officially ‘‘leaked’’ partial photo of the car shows, the Sportback four-seater has a coupe-like silhouette with hatch-like practicality.
The design is clearly aimed at cars such as the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, Volkswagen CC and Mercedes-Benz CLS, essentially taking the four-door coupe concept a step further.
The carmaker says the idea was to combine coupe style and sophistication with the comfort of a sedan, yet have the versatility of a wagon.
Audi Australia spokeswoman Anna Burgdorf says the Sportback will be a welcome addition.
Audi sells about 80 A5s a month and Burgdorf believes the Sportback has the potential to become as popular a model as the A3 Sportback.
‘‘There definitely is a market for that type of car,’’ she says.
Audi no longer has an A6 Avant, so the A5 Sportback has the potential to slide into this niche as an alternative.
‘‘Of course we still have the A6 Allroad for those buyers looking for something more,’’ Burgdorf says.
Prices and specifications are not yet announced, but the hatch is tipped to cost slightly more than the equivalent A5 coupe models, which opens with the $79,900 2.0-litre TFSI.
Audi executives have made no secret of the fact they want to lift the brand’s passenger-car model count from 27 to 40 by 2015 and elevate its status beyond key rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz in many markets.
Both TDI and FSI engines will be available but the final engine line-up and pricing for Australia is yet to be finalised.
The five-door has a long and tapering roofline with short front and rear overhangs. It sits on a 33mm shorter wheelbase than the A6 sedan and has four frameless doors.
The Sportback’s luggage capacity of 480 litres almost equals that of a A4 Avant.
All engines meet stringent Euro 5 exhaust emission standards, and diesel versions are equipped with particulate filters.
In Europe, two FSI petrol engines and three common-rail TDI engines are available, all from the Audi family.
The petrol engines are equipped with the Audi valvelift system, producing more power and higher torque but lower fuel consumption.
The diesel engines range from a 2.0 TDI up to a 3.0-litre V6.