Audi A5 Sportback #19
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Audi A5 Sportback

Audi is presenting a new vehicle concept - the Audi A5 Sportback. The five-door model with the long, flowing rear end unites the best of various vehicle genres: the emotion and elegance of a coupe, the comfort of a sedan and the practicality of a station wagon. The Sportback joins the Audi A5 Coupé and Cabriolet as the third member of the Audi A5 model family.

The Audi A5 Sportback will be rolling into Audi dealerships in September 2009 featuring an emotion-packed design, high everyday practicality, a sporty character and engines that are as efficient as they are powerful. Sales have already begun, with prices starting at 33,650 euros. A further, specially-priced model to follow in 2010 will make the Audi A5 Sportback the entry-level model in the A5 model series.

Audi, the inventor of the Avant, is setting new trends in design with the Audi A5 Sportback. The five-door coupe is defined by elegant lines. It is 36 millimeters (1.42 in) lower than the Audi A4 Sedan; with its short front overhang, long wheelbase, wide track and the four frameless doors with their slender window lines, it is the very picture of sporty elegance.

The interior is spacious, offering uncompromising comfort in all four seats. The large luggage compartment hatch is harmoniously integrated into the long, tapered tail end with the flat C pillars; the spoiler lip underscores the tension-filled character. The luggage compartment volume of 480 liters (16.95 cu ft) nearly matches that of the Audi A4 Avant and increases to 980 liters (34.61 cu ft) with the rear seats folded down.

The Audi A5 Sportback follows the consistent path of innovative technologies at Audi when it comes to the drivetrain. All of the engines are highly-efficient direct injection models - TDI for the cultivated diesels, FSI for the gasoline engines - and all comply with the Euro 5 emissions standard.

All models are equipped with a recuperation system that recovers energy during braking and deceleration and stores it temporarily in the battery.

Audi is initially offering three gasoline and three TDI engines, with three more engines to follow by mid-2010. The gasoline engines - the two-liter TFSI with 132 kW (180 hp) or 155 kW (211 hp) and the 3.2-liter V6 with 195 kW (265 hp) - are equipped with the Audi valvelift system for variable control of valvelift. The intelligent technology boosts performance while simultaneously reducing fuel consumption.

The 2.0 TDI produces 125 kW (170 hp) and consumes on average a frugal 5.2 liters of fuel per 100 km (45.23 US mpg). It is coupled with the start-stop system, which further enhances fuel efficiency in city traffic. The 140 kW (190 hp) 2.7-liter TDI offers even more power. The 3.0 TDI, which also features the S tronic, puts out an impressive 176 kW (240 hp).

Like the three gasoline engines, the top diesel engine delivers its power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. The two most powerful engines are optionally available with the newly developed sport differential, which variably distributes power between the rear wheels and provides even greater dynamics, driving pleasure and safety. The two TDI models with front-wheel drive - the 2.0 TDI and 2.7 TDI - and the 2.0 TFSI (132 kW / 180 hp) benefit from another Audi innovation: The ESP stabilization program with electronic front differential lock increases agility and prevents understeer.

The perfect complement is the Audi drive select vehicle dynamics system, which enables the driver to freely vary the throttle response characteristic, the shifting points of the seven-speed S tronic, and the boost provided by the servotronic steering system, which comes standard (from power outputs of 140 kW (190 hp) upwards). The system is offered as a modular package with at least one of the following three options: sport differential, adaptive shock absorber control or dynamic steering with variable boost.

Design

With the Audi A5 Sportback, Audi has once again reinforced its position as the leader in automotive design. The five-door coupe features emotional and progressive styling to fascinate with powerful elegance and sporty proportions. It is 4.71 meters (15.45 ft) long and 1.85 meters (6.07 ft) wide, but only 1.39 meters (4.56 ft) tall - 36 millimeters (1.42 in) shorter than the A4 Sedan, for example. With the long wheelbase of 2.81 meters (9.22 ft), the short overhangs and the wide track (1.59 meters (5.22 ft.)) up front, 1.58 meters (5.18 ft.) at the rear), the Audi A5 Sportback cuts a powerful figure on the road.

The front is marked with horizontal lines. The horizontal bars come to the forefront in the single-frame grille, which is framed with a narrow strip of anodized aluminum. Two lateral edges underscore the presence of the single-frame grille and extend over the hood as a powerful V contour.

The wide headlights are like technical works of art. A strut vapor-coated with chrome - the "wing" - separates the individual lamp chambers and imparts an unmistakable look. Typical for Audi, the daytime running lights are standard - as are the fog lights, which are mounted in the side air intakes and framed with a tasteful chrome ring.

Audi uses ellipsoidal halogen headlamps in models with engines below 140 kW (190 hp). The xenon plus units standard on the other models are available here as an option. With these headlamps, the daytime running light is provided by light-emitting diodes (LEDs) arranged in an arched strip. The LEDs are characterized by their distinct appearance and particularly low energy consumption. The dynamic cornering light system known as adaptive light is optionally available for all models.

The Audi A5 Sportback's sporty character is also immediately apparent when viewed from the side. The large wheels - 17-inch wheels are standard with sizes up to 20 inches available as options - are framed by a powerful body with a slender window strip. The C pillar runs rearward in a long, elegant wave. The pillar integrates a narrow third side window with an upward pointing tip - a homage to the Audi 100 Coupé S from 1969.

Typical Audi: the ratio of glass to sheet metal

The ratio of glass to sheet metal surfaces is between one-third and two-thirds, a characteristic Audi proportion. The sharp edges in the sheet metal are also characteristic of the brand. They mark the edges of tautly muscular, convex/concave surfaces and subdivide the profile - the elegantly curving shoulder line runs below the window sill; the dynamic line above the door sills. The exterior mirrors with their LED turn signals add further fine touches.

Horizontal lines also emphasize the width at the tail. The spoiler lip on the large luggage compartment hatch has a contrasting look. Except for the 2.0 TDI, the exhaust system's tailpipes run separately down the left and right sides. All models feature straight pipes, even with the TDI engines. The pipes are thus a visual cue indicative of the low emissions - after all, particulate filters have long been standard on Audi models.

The two-piece tail lights taper inward; if equipped with xenon plus headlights, LEDs form a distinctive ring-like light pattern. The third brake light is integrated into the vehicle contour as a narrow strip on the upper edge of the rear window. 24 individual light-emitting diodes produce a homogenous light here rather than point lights. With this new technology, Audi once again underscores its leading role in the world of LED technology.

Audi A5 Sportback buyers can choose from a palette of 15 paint colors. The solid colors are called Ibis White, Brilliant Black and Brilliant Red. The effect finishes go by the names Ice Silver, Amethyst Gray, Dakar Beige, Sphere Blue, Condor Gray, Aruba Blue, Lava Gray, Phantom Black, Garnet Red, Deep Green, Deep Sea Blue and Meteor Gray.

For many Audi customers, the design is a prominent factor, and often the primary factor, in the buying decision. This will certainly also be the case with the Audi A5 Sportback. Its future buyers are expected to be somewhat younger than the customers for the A4 Sedan and Avant. They enjoy a high standard of living, are oriented toward sport, prestige and lifestyle, and are often self-employed in creative professions. They are technology enthusiasts and appreciate new intelligent concepts.

The mid-size premium segment is Europe is stable - emotion-packed new models like the Audi A5 Sportback have very good prospects. Audi plans to sell the vast majority of the volume in Western Europe, with a good third of total sales expected to remain in Germany. Great Britain is expected to be the second-largest sales market, followed by France, Italy and Spain.

Body

The foundation for the qualities that characterize the Audi A5 Sportback is the high body stiffness, which provides the basis for the precise, sporty handling, the superior ride comfort, the high crash safety and the tranquility on board. Oscillations and vibrations are practically imperceptible to the driver and passengers - including those transmitted through the steering wheel and the seat, which comprise the interface to the vehicle.

Audi uses a wide range of state-of-the-art technologies to build the body-in-white. These include hot-shaped steel sheets, most of which are fabricated in the Ingolstadt plant where the Audi A5 Sportback is produced. The tailored blanks of boron alloy steel are heated to 950 degrees Celsius in a continuous furnace and immediately quenched and shaped in a water-cooled die.

This imparts them with an extremely high tensile strength. You could hang six Audi A5 Sportback cars weighing a total of ten tons from a strip of this material two millimeters (0.08 in) thick and 30 millimeters wide (1.18 in). Hot-shaped steels are very light, and profoundly impact the weight balance. The Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TFSI weighs only 1,500 kilograms (3,307 lb).

Consistent use of lightweight construction: aluminum front fenders

Hot-shaped steels are used in the side sills, the longitudinal members, the center console, the B-pillars and the front cross members. Audi uses the ideal material in each area. The front fenders of the Audi A5 Sportback are made of aluminum, and they, too, reduce the weight and contribute to the finely balanced distribution of axle loads.

The joining technologies also underscore the state-of-the-art character of the body structure. A structural adhesive enhances strength in many areas. Innovative laser-beam welding is used at the sills and the doors.

The area below the luggage compartment hatch and the invisible joint between the side of the car and the roof, on the other hand, are joined with the utmost of precision by means of plasmatron brazing.

Unlike many of the competitors' cars, the Audi A5 Sportback does not require an overlay on the roof. Here, Audi's high-tech character and quality approach are evident, complemented by close joins throughout the body.

The five-door coupe glides smoothly through the wind. The drag coefficient is 0.29 for the four-cylinder models; the front face measures a uniform 2.18 square meters (23.47 sq ft). Painstaking fine-tuning in the wind tunnel, which includes a paneled aerodynamic underbody, are among the air flow optimizations implemented.

The Audi A5 Sportback protects its occupants with cutting-edge technology. Full-size airbags stand at the ready in case of a frontal collision. A sensor reports the seating position to the control unit so that it can adaptively trigger the belts and airbags - and that means the best possible protection for passengers large and small in all types of collisions.

The side airbags, which are optimally positioned in the front seats, and the large-volume head airbag system provide protection in the event of a side impact. The integral, specially developed headrest system stands at the ready on the front seat in the event of a rear end collision. This technology ensures that the headrests securely support the head early in the crash process and thus help to counter the risk of whiplash.

Interior and trunk

Thanks to its long wheelbase, the Audi A5 Sportback has a spacious interior in which passengers sitting in all four seats will enjoy plenty of room. The Audi A5 Sportback offers much better leg and shoulder room than the Audi A5 Coupé, its dimensions being only few millimeters short of those of the A4 Sedan.

The long doors open wide to afford very easy entry and exit, and the car has a very unique, coupe-specific touch: All four side windows are frameless.

The Audi A5 Sportback is designed as a four-seater. Compared to the A4, the rear seats are mounted slightly lower and somewhat farther forward. An armrest is standard, with two additional cup holders available as options. The front seats are sportily low and sculpted for perfect ergonomics; they can be precisely adjusted and offer perfect control and support. Audi offers a fine array of options, including sport seats with large side bolsters, extendable thigh rests and a four-way power-adjustable lumbar support in addition to fully power-adjustable seats with an optional memory function. The greatest comfort is offered by the climate-controlled comfort seats, in which small fans with an automatic heating function ensure that the driver and passengers neither sweat nor freeze.

There is another option that proves to be very pleasant on long drives: the sliding center armrest with storage compartment and power outlets. There is also an optional storage package with additional nets and compartments under the front seats.

Also typical for Audi is the generous selection of coverings for the entire range of seats. It ranges from the standard Arcade cloth to a combination of leather and Alcantara to fine Valcona leather. The range of colors includes black, pale gray, lunar silver, cinnamon and cardamom beige in a various combinations.

The headlining is available in black, star silver and linen beige; the carpet in black, quartz gray and coriander beige. Inlays come standard in Micrometallic platinum; aluminum and three types of wood - dark burl walnut, light ash and medium-brown laurel, a wood from Chile - are available as options.

Fine materials: luxurious interior

The interior of the Audi A5 Sportback is a treat for the senses. Elegant design touches, perfect ergonomics, high-grade materials and uncompromising craftsmanship impart a harmonious overall impression. Teardrop-shaped chrome frames surround the two large instruments and secondary indicators. The high-mounted, central onboard monitor is standard, as is the three-spoke leather sports steering wheel.

Flowing lines link the cockpit visually to the door linings; the center console is inclined toward the driver. It always comes with the convenient and ingenious MMI operating system. With its intuitive, easy-to-understand menu system, the large buttons and the central control knob on the middle tunnel, it is the best solution on the market. There is a lot of room on the tunnel. Instead of a conventional mechanical parking brake, Audi uses an electromechanical system that gets by with just a small button. The control button for the starting assist function is also located here.

The luggage compartment is another of the Audi A5 Sportback's strengths. The long hatch with the electrically actuated lock opens to provide access to a large, very usable luggage compartment with plane walls lined with fine materials in the same color as the interior appointments. Its pass-through width measures exactly one meter (39.37 in), and the low loading lip is protected by a strip of stainless steel. In its standard configuration the luggage compartment has a volume of 480 liters (16.95 sq ft). If you fold down the rear seat backs - an effortless procedure - this increases to 980 liters (34.61 sq ft).

Among the practical details are the standard hooks for hanging up shopping bags and lugs for securing larger loads. A fixed cover shields the long luggage compartment from curious gazes. Audi has come up with a clever solution to prevent it from being a nuisance during loading: The cover is divided into two parts. The shorter part latches laterally into the mountings integrated into the luggage compartment lining; the longer latches to the hatch. When the hatch is opened, the cover moves upward with it and fits precisely with the shorter part when the hatch is closed.

Audi offers an entire range of additional solutions as options. One of these is a load-through hatch between the rear seat backs that also includes an integrated removable bag for skis and snowboards. The optional reversible mat is intended for the transport of soiled objects - one side is made of velour, the other is rubberized. The luggage compartment package includes a 12V outlet, a storage net, a tie strap, additional bag hooks and a luggage net.

With the optional removable trailer hitch, the Audi A5 Sportback can pull loads up to 2.1 tons (braked, eight percent gradient). Available accessories include roof, ski and luggage boxes as well as bike and kayak racks.

 

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