Automotive

Audi A5 Sportback proves an attractive blend of coupe and sedan

The new A5 Sportback comes in diesel, petrol and gas variants
The new A5 Sportback comes in diesel, petrol and gas variants
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The new Audi S5 Sportback looks like a regular coupe from front on
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The new Audi S5 Sportback looks like a regular coupe from front on
The devil is in the detail with the new Audi S5 Sportback 
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The devil is in the detail with the new Audi S5 Sportback 
Nowhere is Audi's interior leadership clearer than from this seat here
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Nowhere is Audi's interior leadership clearer than from this seat here
The quilted seats on the new S5 set it apart from the regular Audi A4
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The quilted seats on the new S5 set it apart from the regular Audi A4
There's lots of space in the back, compared to the regular non-Sportback A5
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There's lots of space in the back, compared to the regular non-Sportback A5
Luggage space is not the sole purpose of a car like the S5 Sportback, but there's plenty of room down back 
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Luggage space is not the sole purpose of a car like the S5 Sportback, but there's plenty of room down back 
Two extra doors don't ruin the look of the Audi Sportback 
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Two extra doors don't ruin the look of the Audi Sportback 
The S5 Sportback will hit 100 km/h in under 5 seconds
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The S5 Sportback will hit 100 km/h in under 5 seconds
The singleframe on the Audi S5 is big and brash 
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The singleframe on the Audi S5 is big and brash 
The S5 Sportback is powered by a turbocharged V6
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The S5 Sportback is powered by a turbocharged V6
Compared to the BMW 4 Series, the Sportback is a handsome car
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Compared to the BMW 4 Series, the Sportback is a handsome car
The hatchback on the Sportback make it more practical than the average coupe
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The hatchback on the Sportback make it more practical than the average coupe
The Audi A5 Sportback comes with a range of petrol and diesel engines 
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The Audi A5 Sportback comes with a range of petrol and diesel engines 
The A5 Sportback is the latest iteration of Audi's new design language
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The A5 Sportback is the latest iteration of Audi's new design language
The Sportback comes with revised suspension for flatter handling
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The Sportback comes with revised suspension for flatter handling
The Audi Virtual Cockpit features on the Sportback 
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The Audi Virtual Cockpit features on the Sportback 
The new A5 Sportback comes in diesel, petrol and gas variants
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The new A5 Sportback comes in diesel, petrol and gas variants
The new Sportback melds slick design and practicality
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The new Sportback melds slick design and practicality

With four doors it's technically not a coupe, and that sloping roofline mean it's definitely not a sedan, but the Audi A5 Sportback proves there's a beautiful middle ground to be found between the two.

This isn't the first time Audi has trodden the middle ground between sedan and coupe to great effect. The original Sportback launched seven years ago, blazing a niche trail alongside cars like the Mercedes CLS and BMW X6. Rather than looking awkward, the hatchback and extra doors feel like they belong on the A5. Forget sterile teutonic design, this thing looks utterly gorgeous.

Audi has worked hard to make it more than a pretty face, though. Thanks to an intelligent material mix the latest Sportback is 85 kg (187 lb) lighter than its predecessor, and a redesigned five-link suspension system should make for planted body control when pushed. Adaptive dampers and steering are both optional, but if previous iterations of the steering system are anything to go by we'd be steering clear.

Two extra doors don't ruin the look of the Audi Sportback 
Two extra doors don't ruin the look of the Audi Sportback 

Backroad handling has never been Audi's biggest calling card. Rather, it's been a brand built on a reputation for beautiful, tactile interior design to make Mercedes and BMW look a bit low rent. In the A5 Sportback that tradition continues, with a sweeping dashboard and clean design to make the BMW 4 Series look positively ancient inside.

From behind the wheel, life should be relatively stress free for even the most inattentive drivers. Adaptive cruise control, along with automatic emergency braking, and camera-based speed sign recognition and the full range of parking assistance systems are all available.

Power comes from the same range of downsized petrol and diesel engines as the regular A5 Coupe. Outputs range from 140 kW (190 hp) to 210 kW (286 hp) in the regular range. There's even a bivalent natural gas/petrol model on offer, with 125 kW (170 hp) on tap. Meanwhile, the 260 kW (349 hp) turbocharged V6 in the new S5 Sportback punches it to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.7 seconds.

Pricing for the A5 Sportback kicks off at €37,800 (about US$42,570), while jumping up to the more powerful S5 Sportback pushes the price up considerably to €62,500. We'll be sure to check them out at the Paris Motor Show later this month.

Source: Audi

2 comments
icwhatudidthere
Man, how are you gonna have that really American music and not bring this car to the US?
Gerry Lavell
Technically it is a coupe. 'Coupe' does not mean 'two door', it means 'cut' and refers to the cut roofline all coupes have. 'Coupe' is from the French verb 'couper' - to cut.