Audi says the success of the Audi Sportback started with the Audi A3 Sportback. Sales of the 5-door wagonish model outperformed the 3-door hatchback version. They consider this a market trend so Audi wants to expand this Sportback brand with both a larger and a smaller model. We’ve previously seen the smaller model, the Audi A1 Sportback showed in concept form sometime last year. Now it’s time to take a look at the bigger car, the new Audi Sportback Concept which previews the future Audi A7 four-door.
Most of the styling elements have been derived from the A5 coupe, but the wavy shoulderline that made the A5 unique is missing. The front end has a new interpretation of Audi’s single frame grille which eliminates the vertical struts, leaving only the horizontal lines which like their counterparts on shirts make the car look wider. The outer countour of the single-frame grille is also an evolution of the one shown on the Audi A1 Sportback concept car.
The new Audi Sportback measures 4,950mm long, 1,930mm wide and 1,400mm tall, compared to the Audi A6 sedan’s 4,916mm length, 2,012mm width and 1,461mm height. So this vehicle is longer, wider but sits lower. It’s so long that it even exceeds the Audi A6 Avant’s 4,933mm length. But it is shorter than the Audi A8 SWB’s 5,051mm length. It’s quite a porker too, but understandable based on its size, weighing in at a massive 1,800kg.
Under the hood, and pretty unusual for an American debut until recently is the use of a 3.0 litre TDI V6 engine that is equipped with an AdBlue catalytic converter. AdBlue is an additive thats added to the exhaust stream to reduce harmful content in emissions. This engine makes 225 horsepower and 550Nm of torque, mated to a 7-speed S-Tronic transmission. The car also has quattro all-wheel drive to channel all that torque to four wheels effectively. The S-Tronic gearbox has a new feature in this concept car, it has transmission oil heating which helps it reach the optimum internal operating tempreature earlier for a lower level of internal friction.
More features that help it sip fuel include brake energy regeneration, low roll resistance tyres, an automatic start-stop system, and an electric power steering that only uses energy when cornering and not when the car is driven in a straight line. This helps it achieve an ECE fuel economy of 5.9 litres per 100km and 156g/km of emissions.
Look after the jump for a hi-res gallery.
[zenphotopress number=99 album=68]
Video: 2009 Audi Sportback Concept: official details