New Audi hatches

An A5 Sport­back joins the fam­ily, writes NEILMcDONALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

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.

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