Finally, we get some good info and images of the new A5 Sportback, set to be released this September as a 2010 model in Europe. We likely won’t be getting it here in the States, unless Audi sees some demand for such a vehicle. The A5 Sportback, which you first saw in the A5 Sportback Spy Pictures article, is made to be a combination of a coupe, sedan, and wagon. It attempts to take the benefits from each and combine it into one great car, which will compete directly with the BMW 5-Series GT.
I’m still not entirely sure why they went with the A5 line with the Sportback; what makes the A5 and S5 so appealing is the 2-door coupe model. I know they want to give the Sportback a “coupe-like” image, and they did, but it would have fit much better with the A4. I guarantee that someone who didn’t know any better would mistake it for an A4 before an A5.
Initially, the Audi A5 Sportback will be available with five engine choices:
The two gasoline-powered engines are a 2.0T with 180 hp or 211 hp, and a 3.2-liter V6 with 265 hp. These will be equipped with a 7-speed S-tronic transmission. The diesel-powered choices include a 2.0 TDI with 170 hp, a 2.7-liter TDI with 190 hp, or a 3.0-liter TDI with 240 hp. The 2.0-liter TDI engine will be a fuel efficient-focused model with Audi’s start/stop system, which will bring fuel economy up to about 45 mpg. The two smaller TDI engines will be FWD only, while the two gasoline and more powerful TDI engine will get Audi’s quattro AWD system, and depending on the model, you’ll get either a manual, multitronic or seven-speed S tronic transmission. Three more engines are expected to be available by mid-2010. Here in the States, we never get this many engine choices!
The A5 Sportback will have all sorts of typical high-tech Audi bits available on other models – MMI, adaptive headlights, bluetooth, adaptive cruise control, parking assistant, rear-view camera, Bang & Olufsen sound, etc. Expect lots and lots of options.
S-line packages are also available, of course. The sport package consists of tighter suspension, lowered body, bigger wheels, sport seats, brushed aluminum, special S-line leather steering wheel and shift knob, and two special paint colors, Monza Silver and Misano Red. The S-line exterior package is also optional, which includes modified bumpers, side air intakes, diffuser and tailpipes, as well as body-color side sills, and S line badges on the door sill trims and front fenders. Fancy.
Here is what the various trim levels will cost at launch:
2.0 TDI with 6-speed manual transmission – 36,050 euros
2.7 TDI with 6-speed manual transmission – 39,300 euros
3.0 TDI quattro with 7-speed S tronic – 47,950 euros
2.0 TFSI FWD with 6-speed manual – 33,650 euros
2.0 TFSI quattro with 7-speed S tronic – 42,150 euros
3.2 FSI quattro with S tronic – 47,000 euros
You can download the press release here:
Be warned: it is really, really long.
Audi will be launching the 2.0 TDI e in June in dealerships across Europe. The 2.0 TDI e is the most fuel efficient mid-size sedan on the market. Burning diesel fuel, it manages to get 51.13 mpg out of the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and burn only 191.51 grams of CO2 per mile, which isn’t a figure we’re very familiar with here in the States.
The efficient “e” model produces 136hp, which while isn’t a great number, isn’t exactly focused on performance. It can run from 0 to 62 mph in 9.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 133mph. We Americans will just have to wait longer until diesel catches on over here, but I know many people who would be excited to get 51mpg out of a mid-size non-hybrid sedan, especially an Audi. The sedan is priced at 30,800 euros (currently a little over $42,200 USD,) and you can also get the “e” as an Avant. While it’s not exactly cheap, neither are comparable hybrids.
The A4 2.0 TDI e efficiency system works much like a hybrid, in that it turns off the engine when you’re stopped, which is especially helpful in stop-and-go traffic. Further effort has been taken to increase efficiency, such as low-resistance tires, a 6-speed manual transmission with a 5% higher final gear ratio, and a revised ECU. The system also uses a regenerative braking system (much like a hybrid,) which stores excess kinetic energy from braking in the battery, discharging it when you resume acceleration to reduce fuel use. Clever indeed.
The A4 2.0 TDI e also tries to save fuel by helping change fuel-guzzling driving habits. It has a shift indicator which is tuned to tell you the most fuel efficient times to shift, and displays all fuel efficiency information on the driver information display, making you see how much fuel you’re using and hopefully persuading you to drive more conservatively. Changing your driving habits alone have ben shown to increase efficiency by around 30% – a big savings at the pump. Audi has also improved the A4 aerodynamics in the “e” model to reduce drag,
Overseas, this is actually the fourth efficiency-focused “e” model Audi has released. Apparently the accountants over at Audi don’t think us Yankees are ready to get 44mpg out of an A6 luxury sedan, or the same 44 mpg out of the TT sports car. Don’t worry though…when gas prices go back up to $4/gallon or higher, we’ll start seeing these over here.