Five-door coupe offers sleeker alternative to an A4
16 July 2009

This is Audi’s niche-busting answer to the BMW 5-series GT: the five-door, four-seat A5 Sportback. It is an attempt by Ingolstadt to appeal to those who want a coupe, saloon and estate all rolled into one, giving an element of each.

The range begins lower than the BMW and as such provides a thriftier entrance to this four/five-door coupe.

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Audi has kept the same suspension settings as the A5 coupe, which is around 100kg lighter than the Sportback, so expect the same safe and predictable handling.

The Sportback does, however, gain its coupe cousin’s aluminium front wings, reducing the Audi’s trademark nose-heavy driving characteristics.

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Audi’s Drive Select system is available in three different forms and allows the driver to alter the settings for gadgets such as the sports differential, adaptive dampers and dynamic steering. Audi will offer a manual gearbox only in the entry model from launch.

The 2.0 TFSI (178 and 208bhp) and 3.2-litre FSI petrol units, and 2.0-litre, 2.7-litre (187bhp) and 3.0-litre TDI (237bhp) diesels all get a seven-speed S tronic transmission. The 3.2-litre FSI petrol unit also gets an option of eight-speed Multitronic auto.

An S5 Sportback with a 329bhp 3.0-litre supercharged V6 is likely and Audi hasn’t ruled out an explosive V8 RS5 version, which could see a tie-in with Porsche like the 1990s RS2.

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The Sportback is 36mm lower, 28mm wider and 6mm shorter than an A4. Audi admits space has been compromised slightly in the five-door.

The sleek, coupe-like silhouette and steeply raked hatch all contribute to a drag coefficient of 0.29 for the base models. The Sportback has between 480 and 980 litres of luggage space.

Deliveries start in October and prices range from £27,140 for the 2.0 TDI manual to £34,020 for the 3.0 TDI S tronic.

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