In a universe of infinite possibilities, there must be a reality in which Audi’s 2009 marketing wheeze of retrofitting the A5 coupé with rear doors and a hatchback boot (and charging significantly more for it than the mechanically identical A4) was met with buyer contempt.

Here, though, and despite the aftershock of recession, the frameless doors and more shapely body were a moderate hit, and the car was easily successful enough for Audi to deliver much the same overhaul that has already been visited on the A4 and the A5 coupé.

The look has changed, but not substantially. The Sportback’s core theme is its retention of an eye-pleasing profile, meaning there’s nowhere for that distinctive rear roofline to go but quickly down to meet up with the jaunty back end.

At the front, the Sportback receives much the same single-frame grille revision and wraparound bonnet front as previewed on the coupé and has been exhibited on the cabriolet as well.

Equally important (perhaps more so if you’re underwhelmed by the exterior) is the cabin revamp, which upgrades the fixtures and fittings and swells the interior gently in size.

The latter is thanks to the Sportback adopting the same MLB Evo architecture used for the A4. The engines are carried over, too, although not all of them; to maintain its more exclusive status, the A5 can’t be bought with Audi’s smaller petrol units or even its omnipresent 148bhp 2.0 TDI.

Instead, the three TDI and one TFSI options are made up of headier choices, even if the trim levels – SE, Sport and S Line – remain.

The focus on a higher tempo urged us to look at the 249bhp 2.0 TFSI, Audi’s idea of a spiritual successor to the bigger six-cylinder petrol engine now only offered with the S5.

The 2.0-litre four-pot comes with quattro as standard (most Sportbacks will be front-wheel drive) and a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox, so it ought to be the version best suited to convincing us that Audi’s five-door coupé can deliver performance to complement its style.

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