AUDI HAS RELEASED the first teaser image of the upcoming A5 Sportback, a be-hatched five-door version of its svelte A5 coupe that's slated to go on sale in Europe in September this year.
The A5 Sportback's Australian release is scheduled for the first quarter of 2010. Engines and drivetrains have yet to be confirmed, but expect both direct-injected petrol and turbodiesel powerplants to be on offer.
Audi Australia will be taking a top-down approach to the new model's roll-out, so odds are a range-topping 3.2 litre V6 quattro model will be first off the rank.
Despite belonging to the same family as the current A5 Coupe, the A5 Sportback will be a very different beast. Four doors instead of two, a hatch instead of a boot and a greater emphasis on practicality will mark out the A5 Sportback as a far more versatile vehicle.
It will occupy the lower end of the expanding A5 range, and its coupe-like roofline will likely invite comparisons between it and the Mercedes-Benz CLS. The A5 Sportback's wheelbase is 61mm longer than the A5 Coupe at 2810mm, which gives rear passengers more legroom and Audi's designers enough space for a pair of rear doors.
Boot space will also be generous, with 480 litres being able to be carried with the rear seats up and a sizable 980 litres of space created with the rear seats folded down.
The European engine range will be comprised of a 125kW 2.0 TDI engine, a 140kW 2.7 TDI and a 176kW 3.0 TDI with the latter generating a hefty 500Nm of torque.
Two petrol engines will be on offer too, with a 155kW 2.0 TFSI and 195kW 3.2 FSI V6 rounding out the rest of the range. As yet, there are no plans for a hi-po S5 Sportback variant.
So far, Audi has only released the teaser image and the development sketch shown here. It's not much to go off, but indications are good that the A5 Sportback should be every bit as attractive as the A5 Coupe.
Want a better feel for how it may look? The Audi Sportback Concept exhibited earlier this year (above) should give you some pointers, so check out the gallery below.