AUDI has great expectations for its new A5 Sportback, a solid, balanced offering that almost demands to be driven with passion. KEVIN HEPWORTH reports UDI’S one-niche-at-a-time drive to market leadership has continued at a hot pace with the arrival of the A5 Sportback.
The five-door, coupe-styled four-seater joins the Cabriolet and Coupe models in the A5 lineup to tick off another niche in a market that threatens as many gap-fillers as it promises core models.
At his last official vehicle launch before heading back to Germany, Audi’s previous managing director Joerg Hofmann was glowing in his praise of the Sportback.
‘‘When I first drove this car I was very, very excited by what it promised,’’ Hofmann said.
‘‘Then when we began to look at volume expectations, it became obvious that the A5 Sportback had the potential to be very significant for us.’’
So significant that Audi is predicting the Sportback will account for about 1000 sales a year, or almost half of all the A5 volume.
That will be a significant boost towards the company’s stated goal of a record 12,000 sales in 2010.
‘‘There is no real competitor for this car in the Australian market,’’ Audi’s general manager for marketing Immo Buschmann said.
‘‘This car has real substance and will appeal to sedan buyers who want a car with coupe-like styling yet are not willing to give up the space offered by a sedan.’’
Buyers will, however, have to give up a fifth
Aseat as the Sportback — like the coupe from which it has been stretched by some 86mm — is a dedicated four-seater, albeit with a generous amount of shoulder space for the rear-seat passengers.
The A5 Sportback has two models in Australia, 2.0 TFSI and 3.0 TDI — both with quattro all-wheel-drive and seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
The petrol TFSI carries a sticker price of $78,400 and the three-litre diesel $89,100.