Audi is exactly 100 years young today (Thursday July 16th), and is marking the momentous occasion with the world debut of the new A5 Sportback, a striking new five-door interpretation of the A5 formula that is a fitting testament to a century of boundary-breaking innovation in the fields of car design and engineering. Available to order now priced from £25,440 OTR, the new ten model range will reach the UK in October.

The new A5 Sportback subtly blends its additional doors into the sweeping curves that are instantly recognisable hallmarks of the A5 Coupe, and fully justifies their presence through an extended chassis that enables it to run the spacious A4 Saloon close on rear head and leg room. The benefits of the increase in wheelbase length from 2,751mm in the Coupe to 2,810mm are also evident in the load bay, which with a 480 litre capacity when the rear seats are in place comes close to matching the A4 Avant. When luggage takes priority and the rear seat backs are folded down, a total of 980 litres can be freed up.

At launch in the UK, four advanced direct injection engines will power the A5 Sportback – the 2.0-litre TFSI with 211PS and the 3.2-litre V6 FSI with 265PS from the petrol family, and from the diesel range the 2.0-litre TDI with 170PS and 3.0-litre V6 TDI with 240PS.

Initially, 2.0 TFSI, 3.2 FSI and 3.0 TDI engines will channel their power via the latest generation, rapid-shifting S tronic twin-clutch transmission to the quattro all-wheel-drive system. A six-speed manual gearbox will be reserved for the front-wheel-driven 2.0 TDI to enable the most economy-focused model in the first launch phase to benefit from the latest start-stop and energy recuperation technology.

Further engine variants and additional quattro models will be phased in during 2009, and the automatic transmission options will also become more widely available.

With their reduced overhangs and optimised weight distribution made possible by the latest generation chassis with front axle repositioned ahead of the clutch, A5 Coupe, Cabriolet and Sportback models are characterised by outstanding agility and composure, and these traits are brought into especially sharp focus in quattro versions enhanced by the new optional sport differential. The new differential technology – available initially for 3.2 FSI quattro and 3.0 TDI quattro versions as an element of the extra cost Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system – enables the quattro system to not only transfer torque between the front and rear axles to counter traction losses, but also between the rear wheels to reduce steering effort and literally push the car through a corner.

The high-tech, high grip chassis can be enjoyed by up to four adults in the kind of meticulously finished surroundings that over the years have become synonymous with the Vorsprung durch Technik brand. The spacious, high quality cabin can be equipped to SE or S line specification, with a third Standard trim level reserved for four-cylinder models. All options include features such as climate control, a CD audio system, split folding rear seats and a Driver’s Information System (DIS), while SE models take a step up with comforts including full Milano leather upholstery, acoustic parking sensors and automatic headlight and wiper activation. On top of this, S line specification makes the most of the sharply sculpted lines of the A5 Sportback through exclusive grille and bumper treatments, larger 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights

In addition to Audi drive select, the options list for the new A5 Sportback also features driving assistants including adaptive cruise control, the Audi side assist blind spot alert system and the Audi lane assist lane departure warning system. It also includes luxury entertainment and convenience features such as a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system and hard disk-based satellite navigation with MMI 3G offering even more intuitive control and further improved graphics plus the option to store MP3 files for music playback.

Audi A5 Sportback OTR Prices (initial launch phase)

Standard models (4-cyl only)
2.0 TDI (170PS) 6-speed manual £25,440
2.0 TFSI quattro (211PS) 7-speed S tronic £28,625

SE models
2.0 TDI (170PS) 6-speed manual £27,140
2.0 TFSI quattro (211PS) 7-speed S tronic £30,325
3.2 FSI quattro (265PS) 7-speed S tronic £33,910
3.0 TDI (240PS) 7-speed S tronic £34,020

S line models
2.0 TDI (170PS) 6-speed manual £29,340
2.0 TFSI quattro (211PS) 7-speed S tronic £32,525
3.2 FSI quattro (265PS) 7-speed S tronic £36,110
3.0 TDI (240PS) 7-speed S tronic £36,220