The Audi that merges the four-door A4 and two-door A5 is back in second-generation form – the new A5 Sportback has arrived, seven years after the original ‘five-door coupe’.
There’s no radical departure from the styling of the original, though surfaces are tauter and creases sharpened. Detail changes include a revision to the single-frame grille, which is now flatter and wider.
The A5 Sportback also pares up to 85kg from its predecessor, with the leanest model registering 1470kg on the scales. This should help it match the dynamic improvement made by the A4 sedan released earlier in 2016 and on which the Audi A5 family is based.
A stretched wheelbase contributes to the Sportback’s 17mm growth in overall length and helps extend rear knee-room by 24mm.
The rear hatch again joins the two rear doors to make the Sportback a more practical alternative to the A5 coupe. Lift it up and there’s an extra 15 litres of space in the 480L boot. The rear seats fold in a 40/20/40 configuration; fold all of them and there’s a total cargo capacity of 1300 litres.
There are no surprises in the cabin – again, it’s derived from the A4 and that’s no bad thing. It means a superbly executed interior in terms of materials and technology, and brilliant options such as the Virtual Cockpit switchable digital driver display, Audi Tablet rear entertainment, and wireless smartphone charging.
Active safety tech includes the availability of low-speed active cruise control to make commuting more relaxing, traffic-sign recognition, Turn Assist that helps avoid crossing into the path of an oncoming vehicle, and Exit Warning that helps prevent doors being opened when a cyclist is approaching.
The Audi S5 Sportback sits at the top of the pile for now, and will remain there if there’s no Audi RS5 variant as with its predecessor.
It’s powered by the same 260kW turbo 3.0-litre V6 used in the S4 sedan and S5 coupe, and stakes the same 4.7sec 0-100km/h claim.
The regular Audi A5 Sportback range also shares engines with the rest of its family, including 1.4 and 2.0-litre turbo petrol engines and a 2.0-litre turbo diesel. Similarly, they either power the front wheels only or all four on quattro variants.
Audi Australia says the A5 Sportback is due here in mid-2017. It’s currently priced from $67,810.