AUDI has taken the next step in the expansion of its growing SUV line-up, with the reveal of the coupe-style Q5 Sportback, set to take on the likes of the BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe when it arrives in local showrooms in the first half of 2021.
Rumours of the Q5 Sportback have been swirling for some time now, with the new offering bringing the number of Audi Sportbacks to four, behind the Q3 small SUV, RS5 coupe and E-Tron EV.
So far where its SUVs are offered in Sportback guise, Audi has seen around a third of global sales made up of the coupe-style SUV, a trend which can be expected to continue with the Q5.
Obviously, the signature element of the Sportback is its sloping roofline, which gives it a more dynamic appearance compared to the wagon which arrived in current-generation guise in 2017.
Exterior styling largely mirrors the updated Q5 wagon also due in Australia in the first half of next year, with revised headlights available with either LED or matrix LED technology, a reworked grille and bigger air intakes.
Alloy wheel designs range from 18 to 21-inches in size.
Checking in at 4.69m long, the Sportback is 7mm longer than the wagon, while its 0.30 drag coefficient is slightly more slippery.
At the rear, the Sportback features digital OLED technology, which allows for customers to choose from three different rear lighting signatures, each of which include dynamic coming- and leaving-home.
The rear lights also change when the driver has selected the dynamic drive mode, and can act as warning lights if the car detects another vehicle approaching the stationary Sportback within a distance of two metres.
With 510 litres of boot space available, the Sportback sacrifices 40L compared to the regular Q5, however that figure can expand to 1480L with the rear seats folded flat.
The rear pews can also slide forward to allow up to 570L of space when upright, or alternatively, extra legroom for rear passengers.
As the more sports-oriented body style, the Sportback’s suspension and tamping features a stiffer tune than the wagon, and globally will also be offered with the choice of controlled dampers or adaptive air suspension for optimal comfort.
The air suspension can be raised or lowered by up to 60mm, while cargo loading can be made easier with the rear axle able to drop 55mm via a button in the luggage compartment.
Globally, the Q5 Sportback will launch with two petrol and three diesel turbocharged engines, starting with a 2.0-litre mild-hybrid diesel good for 150kW/400Nm, followed another 2.0-litre diesel, a 3.0-litre V6 diesel and two four-cylinder petrol units.
As the sportier offering, the petrol and diesel SQ5 grades will also follow.
When questioned on the possibility of the Sportback ushering in Audi’s first-ever full-fat RS Q5, Audi executives remained tight-lipped on the topic, however the new model could make for a more appropriate donor model given its sleek styling and sportier bent.
Inside, the Sportback scores the same cabin as the updated Q5, with features including the new-generation infotainment system projected onto a 10.1-inch touchscreen, and on top-spec grades a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and head-up display.
A full range of active safety tech is also set to be available, and is organised into three packages.
Local specification and pricing is yet to be announced, however for reference the smaller Q3 Sportback comes with a small price premium over its wagon sibling.
To the end of August, Audi has sold 1975 examples of the Q5, down 22.2 per cent year-to-date and enough for fourth place in the premium mid-sized SUV segment.