Steane Klose | Jan 12, 2009

Not to be outdone by its parent company's debut of the gorgeous Volkswagen Concept Bluesport, Audi has whipped the sheets off its latest Sportback - the Sportback concept show car.

Audi claims that the five-door model offers a glimpse at its future design 'vocabulary'. With its pronounced coupe-like silhouette and large rear hatch, the 4.95m long, 1.93m wide and only 1.40m high vehicle is likely to be Audi’s answer to the four-door coupe phenomenon that is gripping the luxury class.

Power for the Sportback concept is provided by Audi’s 3.0 TDI producing 165kW and 550Nm, the same V6 diesel that powers the Audi Q7. Being a clean diesel, it almost completely eliminates nitrogen oxides, through the use of AdBlue, a biologically degradable, waterborne additive that is injected in small amounts upstream of the DeNOx catalytic converter.

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One of the highlights of the Sportback concept’s clean diesel engine is the combustion chamber sensors, which enable even more precise regulation of the combustion processes in the engine. The fitment of these sensors is a world first.

A piezo common-rail system with an injection pressure of 2000 bar, highly-efficient exhaust gas recirculation and optimized turbocharging also assist in significantly reduced raw engine emissions. In fact, this engine already meets the emissions limits of all 50 US states, and the EU6 standard scheduled to take effect in 2014. In addition to low emission levels of no more than 156 g/km, Audi claims an impressive fuel consumption figure of just 5.9 l/100 kilometres.

Power is transferred to the Sportback concept’s quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system via Audi’s new seven-speed tiptronic.

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The Sportback concept is just as stunning inside, with an interior trimmed almost completely in leather: from the headlining, dashboard, doors and the entire seat upholstery all the way through to the boot. The lashings of leather are offset by large wood trim strips on the instrument panel, centre console and doors, which are machined from oak blockboard.

Audi has enjoyed enormous success with its A3 Sportback, with far more customers choosing the four-door model with the large rear hatch, over its three-door sibling. The Sportback concept show car signals Audi’s determination not to limit Sportback versions to the compact segment.

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