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Sneak Peak: 2010 Audi A5 Sportback

Do you lust after an Audi A5, but need something with some extra doors and space to handle the family? Good news: Audi has just the car for you.

Well, not quite. Such a car--the 2010 Audi A5 Sportback--is indeed destined for production, but not the New World. Audi says the shapely fastback doesn't mesh well with its U.S. market plans, and as such, the car will become forbidden fruit.

So too, it seems, are photographs of the Sportback in its entirety. Audi's been kind enough to release a teaser shot of the car's hind quarters and a sketch of a side view before its launch later this year, but it's playing coy when it comes to revealing the entire package. Still, it's not hard to imagine the final product in all its glory--a spokesperson described its look as merging the A5's nose and tail to the body of the Sportback concept, which the small pencil sketch seems to confirm.

Ultimately, two Sportbacks--the A5 and a larger A7--will reside in Audi's lineup, but it's unclear which model will compete against BMW's new 5-series Gran Turismo. BMW's made the new 5-series GT almost the size of a 7-series, which would suggest the A7--sized between an A6 and A8--will be a direct competitor. Powertrain will likely be similar to the two-door A5, although we hear the A6's supercharged 3.6-liter V-6 will become the new standard in all A5s.

It is perhaps for that reason Audi has chosen to keep the A5 Sportback overseas. Although the market for a car/sedan/wagon concoction is certainly niche, Audi does plan on bringing the larger A7 to our shores in late 2010.