PopUp595 421A1110036 small 550x389 The Perfect Five door Fit: 2012 Audi A1 Sportback

With all the fans of Audi or many European premium car companies in North America, true enthusiasts to a brand wonders why the smaller, more accessible vehicles are kept on the East end of the Atlantic. Either a matter of economics, prediction of tastes or fear disrupting their luxury brand with too many entry-level vehicles traditionally keeps subcompact and compact cars off North American soil.

Introduced in Europe, the A1 came to life from the same chassis used for the Volkswagen Polo (another car some American have summoning unsuccessfully) as the Audi brand’s challenger against the BMW 1 Series or Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Sharing similar expense pressures of driving, the motorists inside countries like France, Germany and the United Kingdom have been battered hard by higher fuel prices on top of car insurance costs. Luxury cars like the Audi A1 are creations based on necessity returning the market as a sporty personal hatchback. Spawned initially in three-door form, the Audi A1’s five-door version charms the tight European roads with youthful looks and practicality.

The 2012 Audi A1 Sportback is another product the German auto company wishes to link thoughts of performance with practicality. While the Sportback name appears more common on the European Audi vehicle line-up, the S7 Sportback brought to the United States lends understanding to the marketing and design principle the five-door A1 looks to accomplish. Adding two additional doors for the rear passengers, the 2012 Audi A1 Sportback’s persona is casually altered. Rather being a nifty sport look, the five-door version of the A1 Sportback is propelled as a more considerate, mature existence. Measuring a total length of 3.95 meters (155.52 inches), the Audi A1 Sportback is more than 14.5 inches shorter than the smallest North American Audi offering, the A3. The A1 Sportback incorporates the new Audi brand design traits including the flared wheel wells and the furious-looking front headlamp housings. Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights can be optioned on the 2012 Audi A1 Sportback. On the back of the 2012 Audi A1 Sportback, SuperRed LED taillight units quickly warn following vehicles. Showing that Audi’s knowledge of materials stretches beyond aluminum, one-third of the five-door A1 Sportback consists of high strength steel.

Structurally stable on a front-wheel drive train (there is no mention of quattro all-wheel drive), the Audi A1 Sportback invokes a strong sense of control with an electronic stability program, strong brakes featuring front ventilation and an electronic limited slip differential. In different trim levels, the 2012 Audi A1 Sportback sports a trendy assortment of wheels. 2012 Audi A1 Sportback models trimmed in the Attraction version wears rather basic 15-inch steel wheels. The Ambition trim model of the A1 Sportback upgrades the outer look with 16-inch alloys with optional 17-inch cast aluminum and quattro GmbH sourced 18-inch wheels perfecting appearances. An additional outside styling touch is a two-tone colouring scheme on the 2012 Audi A1 Sportback accenting the roof against the list of 12 exterior colours.

 

PopUp595 421A1110098 small The Perfect Five door Fit: 2012 Audi A1 Sportback

 

With the cabin opened by the two new passenger doors, occupants inside the Audi A1 Sportback partake in a delightfully spacious interior surrounding. Up to 32.49 cubic feet of cargo room is created in the Audi A1 cabin when the rear seats are folded. Helping to create a comfortable environment for adult passengers, the 2012 Audi A1 Sportback comes standard equipped as a four-seat vehicle. Optional features provided on the 2012 A1 Sportback includes five-passenger seating, 14-speaker Bose surround sound system, Audi MMI navigation plus with a 6.5-inch screen and the Internet equipment as well as software that can turn the vehicle into a WLAN hotspot.

In touch with the European tastes for diesel power and small gasoline engines, the 2012 Audi A1 Sportback is propelled by a selection of six power plants. Thee gasoline and three Audi TDI engine choices all configured with four cylinder banks, entry-level power comes from a 1.2 TFSI powerplant producing 86 horsepower. Top gasoline power for the 2012 Audi A1 is realized with a supercharged and turbocharged 185 horsepower, 1.4 liter inline-4 that allows the premium subcompact to run from 0 to 62 miles per hour in a stout 7 seconds flat. The performance-leading diesel for the 2012 A1 Sportback is a 2.0 TDI that combines 143 horsepower with average fuel economy said to be over 57 miles per gallon. Five-speed and six-speed manual transmissions and a 7-speed twin-clutch S tronic gearbox are available through the Audi A1 Sportback’s engine line-up.

While the potentially lower rates of van insurance could tempt for more financially strapped families, the more energetic presence of smaller utility cars is a solid way to retain a zest for life. Soon to be a realization of automotive customers in Munich in 2012, motorists in American cities are not expected to see the A1 Sportback for the immediate future. However, Audi has a history of being receptive to North American interests in European-only vehicles. Just like the TTRS and the RS5, the Audi A1 Sportback could only be a matter of a petition away.

Information and photo source: Audi AG

Audi A5 Sportback The Audi A5 Sportback Unveiled

2010 Audi A5 Sportback

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.

Audi A5 Sportback 3 The Audi A5 Sportback Unveiled

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!

Audi A5 Sportback 4 The Audi A5 Sportback Unveiled

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.

Audi A5 Sportback 5 The Audi A5 Sportback Unveiled

2010 Audi A5 Sportback S-line Interior

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

Audi A5 Sportback 2 The Audi A5 Sportback Unveiled

You can download the press release here:

2010 Audi A5 Sportback Press Release

Be warned: it is really, really long.

a5sportback spied1 Audi A5 Sportback Spy Shots

Audi A5 Sportback Spy Shot

Students at the University of San Diego happened across an unusual sighting a couple days ago. Apparently Audi was doing a photo shoot of the new A5 Sportback at the school, and these cell phone camera-equipped students snapped a few photos of the car almost completely unveiled.

The A5 Sportback, which we reported on a few days ago, will have four doors and a “coupe-like” roofline, and will be able to carry almost as much cargo as the A4 Avant. It will be available with five engines; two gasoline options and three diesel-powered TDI variants. There will be an S5 variant with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6.

The A5 Sportback will not be available in the States, at least right away, even though this is where they’re shooting the photos. It’s expected to debut at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

006  scaled 600 086 Audi A5 Sportback Spy Shots

The A5 Sportback will be a direct competitor to the BMW 5-series GT, although I’m still not entirely sure why it’s part of the A5 line and not the A4, considering it has four doors. I know, I know, it’s all about the “four-door coupe” thing now, I just don’t buy it.

The lucky student who snapped these shots had a chance to sit in the car as well. His findings:

Inside the car is very familiar, the dash pretty much the standard A5/A4 affair, as to be expected, but the seating in back is what surprised me. The roof slopes back towards the integrated spoiler with a fairly steep rake, yet the downward slide begins in earnest right where your head sits. The result is a very attractive outward profile and substantially more room in the back than the A5. In fact, the headliner even makes a slight rise to accommodate more headroom. One other bit of interest in the interior is the metal trim used, almost a perforated aluminum, something I’d not seen before in an Audi.

More pictures and info at Fourtitude

A5 Sportback Europe Gets the New A5 Sportback

Sneak Peek at the Audi A5 Sportback

Audi gave us some details on the newest addition to the A5 line – the A5 Sportback. The idea here is that the Sportback will be as “emotional and elegant as a coupe, as comfortable as a sedan, and as practical as an Avant.” It will have four doors, which makes me wonder why it’s not instead a variation on the A4.

The 2010 Audi A5 Sportback will be available initially with five engine choices – two gasoline and three diesel variants. The gasoline choices will be a 2.0-liter turbo with 211 horsepower, and a 3.2-liter V6 rated at 265 hp. The TDI engines will be available with a 2.0-liter (170 hp,) a 2.7-liter (190 hp,) and a 3.0-liter V6 with 240 hp. Both gasoline engines and the V6 TDI will come with Audi’s AWD quattro system.

We aren’t getting the A5 Sportback here in the States, but Europe will begin to see them in showrooms in September of this year, starting at 36,050 Euros, or about $50,000 USD.

A5 Sportback sketch Europe Gets the New A5 Sportback

2010 Audi A5 Sportback sketch