Audi Teases the A5 Sportback

Audi has just announced that it will bring a Sportback version of the stunning A5 to market this year. The move by Audi comes just weeks after BMW released its 5 Series Gran Turismo.

The new model has the soul of a coupe, the comfort of a sedan and the practicality of a wagon (or Avant, as they say at Audi).

In Europe the car will initially be offered with five powertrains, including two gasoline and three diesel options. The gasoline engines are, as expected, the 2.0 TFSI engine making 211hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque and the 3.2-liter V6 with 265hp.

As for the diesels, they include the 2.0 TDI with 170 and 258 ft-lbs of torque, the 2.7 TDI with 190hp and 295 ft-lbs of torque and a 3.0-liter V6 TDI with 240hp and a massive 369 ft-lbs of torque.

As for cargo capacity, Audi says the new model has 17 cubic feet of cargo space (almost the same as the A4 Avant), and 34.6 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded flat.

While Audi has yet to release any full photos of the car, the rear hatch section does slope off from the roof that is 1.42-inches lower than that of the A4.

Word of the new model comes from Audi in Europe, but the car will most likely make its way to North America – why else would those Europeans have listed all the stats in ft-lbs and cubic-feet, as well as Nm and liters? The only question mark is what powertrains will be offered. Diesels are unlikely and with Audi recently eliminating the 3.2 V6 from many of its vehicles, the 2.0 TFSI is the only option left.

The A5 Sportback will go on sale in Europe this September with a starting price of 36,050 Euros. If Audi does decide to bring the car to the U.S., the following Spring would be the most likely time.

Official release after the jump:

The new Audi A5 Sportback

As elegant as a coupe, as practical as an Avant

The brand with the four rings leads the pack with a new vehicle concept: The Audi A5 Sportback combines the best of different automotive worlds. It is as emotional and elegant as a coupe, as comfortable as a sedan, and as practical as an Avant. The Sportback joins the Coupé and Cabriolet as the third member of the A5 model family – and at the same time creates a new segment. With an exciting design, great everyday utility and highly efficient and powerful TFSI, FSI and TDI engines, the A5 Sportback will arrive at Audi dealerships in September. The car will be open for ordering with an entry price of EUR 36,050 for the 2.0 TDI version. A version with an even more attractive price will follow in the middle of 2010. This will make the A5 Sportback the entry model for the A5 model range.

The A5 Sportback represents a milestone in car design. The five-door coupe excels in its elegant, elongated, sporty profile. The large hatchback fits perfectly into the tail-end styling. The spoiler lip and the diffuser insert provide contrast and emphasize the athletic tautness of the elongated contour. The coupe-like silhouette is the result of a roof section with a long, tapering roofline that is moderately lower by 36 mm (1.42 inches) than the A4 Sedan and of the short overhangs at the front and rear as well as the long wheelbase of 2,810 mm (9.22 feet) and the four frameless doors with their slim, dynamic window styling. The unusual hatchback design is distinctively emblematic of the vehicle’s excellent functionality. With the Sportback, the designers of the Avant are setting trends in tail-end design while combining sportiness, comfort and utility in a completely new way.

The unique functional concept in conjunction with the emotion-packed design creates a cutting-edge mix of coupe and Avant. The baggage volume of 480 liters (17.0 cubic feet) nearly equals that of the A4 Avant, and it has an impressive 980 liters (34.6 cubic feet) with the rear seatbacks folded down.

The A5 Sportback provides a full measure of comfort on all four seats and convenient entry and exit through every door. Despite the fact that its exterior height is less than that of the A4 Sedan and that its roof tapers at the rear, the Sportback has comparable headroom and legroom.

The powerplant of the A5 Sportback is another advance along the path of innovative technologies Audi has been charting: All engines are of the direct injection type – the diesel versions are sophisticated common rail TDI units while the gasoline engines are based on the FSI concept. All engines meet the EU5 exhaust emission standard. The diesel versions are equipped with particulate filters.

Initially the A5 Sportback will be available with a choice of two gasoline and three diesel engines. The two gasoline versions, the 2.0 TFSI quattro with an output of 155 kW (211 hp) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of torque and the 3.2-liter V6 quattro generating 195 kW (265 hp) are both equipped with the Audi valvelift system. This feature can produce more power and higher torque as well as lower fuel consumption.

The following engines are also available right from the start: the 2.0 TDI with 125 kW (170 hp), 350 Nm (258 lb-ft), a 6-speed manual gearbox and start/stop system, the 2.7 TDI with 140 kW (190 hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft), and the three-liter V6 TDI with 176 kW (240 hp) plus an enormous 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of maximum torque and quattro all-wheel drive.

The newly developed ESP control with electronic differential lock on the front axle ensures noticeably improved steering response as on the Coupé and Cabriolet and compensates effectively for change-of-load reactions – which increases driving safety.

The perfect addition to this technology package is the Audi drive select dynamic driving system – this allows the driver to choose between three different modes which influences the throttle response characteristics, the shift points for the seven-speed S tronic or multitronic transmissions, and supports the servotronic steering. If the vehicle is equipped with the MMI operating system, a fourth, freely programmable level is also available.

Audi drive select can only be ordered in conjunction with one or more of three additional technologies – adaptive shock absorber control, dynamic steering with continuously variable assistance and quattro with sport differential for the 3.0 TDI and 3.2 FSI versions.