Previewed back in June 2009, the new Audi A5 Sportback is the third model in the A5 series – joining the Coupé and Cabriolet – and combines a
sporty overall character with many practical characteristics for everyday driving.
The five-door coupe is 36 millimeters (1.42 in) lower than the A4 Sedan; the main proportions and silhouette design are defined by its short front overhang, long wheelbase,
wide track and the four frameless doors with their slender window lines.
The interior offers high levels of space and comfort to all four seats.
The luggage compartment hatch is integrated into the long, tapered tail end with the flat C pillars; the spoiler lip underscores the tension-filled
The luggage compartment volume of 480 liters (16.95 cu ft) nearly matches that of the A4 Avant and increases to 980 liters (34.61 cu ft) with the rear seats folded down.
The range of engines includes direct injection units – TDI for the diesels, FSI for the gasoline engines– and all comply with the Euro 5 emissions standard.
The A5 Sportback will be rolling into Audi dealerships in September with prices starting at 33,650 euros. A further, specially-priced model to follow in 2010 will make the A5 Sportback the entry-level
model in the A5 model series.
The Audi A5 Sportback is 4.71 meters (15.45 ft) long and 1.85 meters (6.07 ft) wide, but only 1.39 meters (4.56 ft) tall – 36 millimeters (1.42 in) shorter than the A4 Sedan.
The long wheelbase of 2.81 meters (9.22 ft), is coupled with short overhangs and wide track (1.59 meters (5.22 ft.)) up front, 1.58 meters (5.18 ft.) at the rear).
The front end is marked with horizontal lines. The horizontal bars come to the forefront in the single-frame grille, which is framed with a narrow strip of anodized aluminum.
Two lateral edges underscore the presence of the single-frame grille and extend over the hood as a powerful V contour.
The wide headlights feature a strut vapor-coated with chrome – the “wing” – which separates the individual lamp chambers and imparts an unmistakable look. The daytime running lights are standard – as are the fog lights, which are mounted in the side air intakes and framed with
a chrome ring.
Audi uses ellipsoidal halogen headlamps in models with engines below 140 kW (190 hp).
The xenon plus units standard on the other models are available as an option. With these headlamps, the daytime running light is provided by light-
emitting diodes (LEDs) arranged in an arched strip. The LEDs are characterized
by their distinct appearance and particularly low energy consumption.
dynamic cornering light system known as adaptive light is optionally available for
Viewed from the side, the sporty character is enhanced by the large wheels – 17-inch wheels are standard with sizes up to 20 inches available as options – framed by a powerful body with a slender window strip.
The C pillar runs rearward in a long wave. The pillar integrates a narrow third side window with an upward pointing tip – a homage
to the Audi 100 Coupé S from 1969.
The ratio of glass to sheet metal surfaces is between one-third and two-thirds, a characteristic Audi proportion. The sharp edges in the sheet metal are also characteristic of the brand.
They mark the edges of tautly muscular,
convex/concave surfaces and subdivide the profile – the elegantly curving
shoulder line runs below the window sill; the dynamic line above the door sills.
The exterior mirrors with their LED turn signals add further fine touches.
Horizontal lines also emphasize the width at the tail. The spoiler lip on the large luggage compartment hatch has a contrasting look. Except for the 2.0 TDI, the exhaust system’s tailpipes run separately down the left and right sides.
All models feature straight pipes, even with the TDI engines. The pipes are thus a visual cue indicative of the low emissions – after all, particulate filters have long been standard on Audi models.
The two-piece tail lights taper inward; if equipped with xenon plus headlights, LEDs form a distinctive ring-like light pattern.
The third brake light is integrated
into the vehicle contour as a narrow strip on the upper edge of the rear window.
24 individual light-emitting diodes produce a homogenous light here rather than point lights. With this new technology, Audi once again underscores its leading role in the world of LED technology.
The drag coefficient is 0.29 for the four-cylinder models; the front face measures a uniform 2.18 square
meters (23.47 sq ft). Among the air flow optimizations implemented during fine-tuning in the wind tunnel is a paneled aerodynamic underbody.
A5 Sportback buyers can choose from a palette of 15 paint colors. The solid colors are called Ibis White, Brilliant Black and Brilliant Red.
The effect finishes go by the names Ice Silver, Amethyst Gray, Dakar Beige, Sphere Blue, Condor Gray, Aruba Blue, Lava Gray, Phantom Black, Garnet Red, Deep Green, Deep Sea Blue and Meteor Gray.
“The A5 Sportback’s future buyers are expected to be somewhat younger than the
customers for the A4 Sedan and Avant.
“They enjoy a high standard of living, are
oriented toward sport, prestige and lifestyle, and are often self-employed in
Audi plans to sell the vast majority of the volume in Western Europe, with a good third of total sales
expected to remain in Germany. Great Britain is expected to be the second-largest
sales market, followed by France, Italy and Spain.
The Audi A5 Sportback is designed as a four-seater. Compared to the A4, the rear seats are mounted slightly lower and somewhat farther forward. An armrest is standard, with two additional cup holders available as options. The front seats are sportily low and sculpted for perfect ergonomics; they can be precisely adjusted and offer perfect control and support.
Thanks to its long wheelbase, the A5 Sportback has a spacious interior: it offers much better leg and shoulder room than the A5 Coupé, its dimensions being only few millimeters short of those of the A4 Sedan.
The long doors open wide to afford very easy entry and exit, and the car has a very unique, coupe-specific touch: All four side windows are frameless.
Flowing lines link the cockpit visually to the door linings; the center console is inclined toward the driver. Instead of a conventional mechanical parking brake, Audi uses an electromechanical system
that gets by with just a small button. The control button for the starting assist function is also located here.
The luggage compartment is one of the Audi A5 Sportback’s strengths. The long hatch with the electrically actuated lock opens to provide access to a large,
very usable luggage compartment which has a volume of 480 liters (16.95 sq ft). If you fold down the rear seat backs – an effortless procedure– this increases to 980 liters (34.61 sq ft).
The body-in-white is built using innovative technologies such as hot-shaped steel sheets: tailored blanks of boron
alloy steel are heated to 950 degrees Celsius in a continuous furnace and
immediately quenched and shaped in a water-cooled die.
This imparts them with an extremely high tensile strength. You could hang a total of ten tons from a strip of this material two millimeters (0.08 in) thick and 30 millimeters wide (1.18 in).
Hot-shaped steels are very light, and profoundly impact the weight balance. The A5 Sportback 2.0 TFSI weighs only 1,500 kilograms (3,307 lb).
Hot-shaped steels are used in the side sills, the longitudinal members, the center console, the B-pillars and the front cross members. The front fenders of the A5 Sportback are made of aluminum.
The joining technologies include structural adhesives – which enhance strength in many areas – while laser-beam welding is used at the sills and the doors.
The area below the luggage compartment hatch and the invisible joint between the
side of the car and the roof, on the other hand, are joined by means of plasmatron brazing.
Unlike many of the competitors’ cars, the A5 Sportback does not require an overlay on the roof.
Audi is initially offering three gasoline and three TDI engines, with three more engines to follow by mid-2010. The gasoline engines – the two-liter TFSI with 132 kW (180 hp) or 155 kW (211 hp) and the 3.2-liter V6 with 195 kW (265 hp)– are equipped with the Audi valvelift system for variable control of valvelift, which boosts performance while simultaneously reducing fuel
The 2.0 TDI produces 125 kW (170 hp) and consumes on average a frugal 5.2 liters of fuel per 100 km (45.23 US mpg). It is coupled with the start-stop system, which further enhances fuel efficiency in city traffic. The 140 kW
(190 hp) 2.7-liter TDI offers even more power. The 3.0 TDI, which also features the S tronic, puts out an impressive 176 kW (240 hp).
Like the three gasoline engines, the top diesel engine delivers its power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.
The two most powerful engines are optionally available with the newly developed sport differential, which variably distributes power between the rear wheels and provides even greater dynamics, driving pleasure and safety. The two TDI models with front-wheel drive – the 2.0 TDI and 2.7 TDI – and the 2.0 TFSI (132 kW / 180 hp) benefit from another Audi innovation: The ESP stabilization program with electronic front differential
lock increases agility and prevents understeer.
All models are equipped with a recuperation system that recovers energy during braking and deceleration and stores it temporarily in the battery.