2009 Audi A5 Sportback - Sneak Preview 2008

Motor Forecast

While Sportback is the name given to Audi's A3 four-door hatch, this A5 model is more of a low-slung, fastback sedan. The A5 Sportback will meld attributes of its platform mates, having the length and wheelbase of an A4 and the width of an A5 coupe.

Frameless windows, aggressive styling, and a manually deployable spoiler help separate the Sportback from its more pedestrian Avant (Audi-speak for "wagon") cousins. The interior will borrow heavily from both the A4 and the A5 and thus will resemble much of Audi's lineup, which isn't a bad thing. Power will come from an array of familiar engines, including a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, a 3.2-liter V-6, and a 3.0-liter V-6 turbo-diesel (the diesel may not be sold on our shores).

The A5 Sportback should hit showrooms late this year. If it's a success, expect to see the concept migrate to other Audis.

AND WE NEED THIS INSTEAD OF AN A4 WAGON . . . WHY? The Sportback appears to be aimed at buyers who can't decide between an A4 Avant and an A5. We just wonder how big that prospective market might be.

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