Der ChicWagen: Audi's New A5/S5 Sportback

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
der chicwagen audis new a5 s5 sportback

Despite dire warnings that the sedan is about to experience a slow and grisly demise, der Technikers at Audi announced today that they will be crafting a new five-door liftback from their swoopy A5 coupe, the most interesting of which is the S5 Sportback.

Styling is typical Audi fare, employing their current Different Lengths of Sausage™ design language. Audi trumpets the Sportback’s short overhangs but it’s hard to ignore the gawping Singleframe grille, flatter and wider here than on previous models.

Audi estimates the S5 Sportback will accomplish the 0-60 mile per hour sprint in 4.7 seconds. A newly developed, direct injection, 3.0-liter TFSI turbo V6 engine will churn out 354 of the finest German horses and 369 pounds-feet of torque from a barely off-idle 1370 rpm. Unburdened by leiderhosen-shod tuba players, the “five-door sports coupé” is nearly 190 pounds lighter than its predecessor (at 3660 lbs).

There will be lesser versions of the model, set to bear the A5 Sportback moniker, equipped with lower powered engines making between 190 hp and 286 hp. TDI engines are mentioned in the media release, but given the diesel debacle there’s a great chance they will be less popular than a Greek accountant. All-wheel drive is an option on the order sheet.

The interior will be available in numerous types of sumptuous leather, including a quilted light grey and perforated dark pumpernickel. Okay, I made up the last one. What I’m not making up is the “Audi phone box” which, sadly missing a comedic Dr. Who/TARDIS tie-in, connects smartphones to an on-board antenna by near-field coupling and simultaneously charges them inductively using the Qi standard. Audiophiles will be able to listen to their favourite oompah band through the always fantastic Bang & Olufsen sound system. Audi’s large, high-resolution TFT monitor — spanning a rennfahrer pleasing 12.3 inches — presents the driver with richly detailed graphics.

So, just to recap, Audi makes a five door version of a two door version of a four door sedan. The new A5 Sportback will hit the road in Germany and other European countries at the start of 2017 for a base price of EUR 37,800. Slovenly Western showrooms will be bereft of this model until such time that Audi’s overlords deem us worthy — which they surely will, since BMW and Mercedes seem to sell all the four-door coo-pays they can make.

[Images: Audi AG]

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3 of 32 comments
  • Stumpaster Stumpaster on Sep 08, 2016

    My oh my, where did all these humors come from? First a Simpsons reference, followed with "less popular than a Greek accountant" - wow, you nocked it outta da park! For your next article may ai suggest such alligoeries as "this engine slower than a Mexican distance runner", "the cabin is darker than a Panther member at a Trump rally", and "the fake leather seats are smellier than an Indian wedding party after chicken tikka masala dinner". You go boy!

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Sep 08, 2016

    They're getting a bit aggressive with the character line these days. It doesn't need to be quite so voluminous. Other than that, I like it. Because the grille is filled in through the middle behind the slats, even it doesn't bother me that much. I've mentioned before, I think Audi is going to lead the movement back to smaller grille.

  • Dave M. Although the effective takeover by Daimler is pooped upon, this is one they got right. I wasn't a fan of the LHs, mostly due to reported mechanical, NVH and build quality issues, but I though Chrysler hit it out of the park with the LXs. The other hyped release that year was the Ford Five Hundred, which, while a well-built car with superior interior space, couldn't hold a candle to the 300.
  • Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.
  • Cardave5150 I've had 2 different 300's - an '08 300SRT and an '18 300C. Loved them both a LOT, although, by the time I had the second one, I wasn't altogether thrilled with the image of 300's out on the street, as projected by the 3rd or 4th buyers of the cars.I always thought that the car looked a little stubby behind the rear wheels - something that an extra 3-4" in the trunk area would have greatly helped.When the 300 was first launched, there were invitation-only meet-and-greets at the dealerships, reminding me of the old days when new model-year launches were HUGE. At my local dealer, they were all in formalwear (tuxes and elegant dresses) with a nice spread of food. They gave out crystal medallions of the 300 in a sweet little velvet box (I've got mine around the house somewhere). I talked to a sales guy for about 5 minutes before I asked if we could take one of the cars out (a 300C with the 5.7 Hemi). He acted like he'd been waiting all evening for someone to ask that - we jumped in the car and went out - that thing, for the time, seemed to fly.Corey - when it comes time for it, don't forget to mention the slightly-stretched wheelbase 300 (I think it was the 300L??). I've never found one for sale (not that I've looked THAT hard), as they only built them for a couple of years.
  • Jkross22 "I’m doing more for the planet by continuing to drive my vehicle than buying a new one for strictly frivolous reasons."It's not possible to repeat this too much.
  • Jeff S Got to give credit to Chrysler for putting the 300 as a rear wheel drive back on the market. This will be a future classic.