By: Jason Woosey

Like its predecessor, the new Audi A5 Sportback is attempting to be an A5 Coupé crossed with a five-door hatchback to offer a pleasing blend of style and practicality.

Based on the second-generation A5 Coupé, in many ways the new Sportback is the logical evolution of the previous version that you would have expected. However it does have broader stance at the rear, somewhat reminiscent of the larger A7 Sportback, and the shoulder-line crease that runs along the side of the car forges a curvier path, as if it's trying to flow over wheel arches.

Moving onto the latest A4/A5 platform, the new Sportback offers more interior space, with 24mm extra rear knee room as well as a family-friendly a 480-litre boot, and despite its increased dimensions, the new model is up to 85kg lighter than its predecessor. You know the drill by now.

Potent new S5

This helped Audi to reduce fuel consumption by up to 22 percent, with its range of turbo-charged petrol and diesel engines that produce between 140kW and 260kW. Topping the range until the almost-inevitable RS king takes the throne is the new S5 Sportback, powered by a 3-litre V6 turbopetrol rated at 260kW and 500Nm - enough, Audi says, for a 4.7-second 0-100km/h blast-off. The S5, along with the 210kW 3.0 TDI A5, is fitted with Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system, which is also optional on two other unnamed derivatives.

As with its A4/A5 siblings, the 2017 Sportback features redesigned five-link suspension systems front and rear, with adaptive dampers being optionally available.

Inside the A5 and S5 Sportback offers the option of Audi's fully-digital 'Virtual Cockpit', offering various display options with detailed, high-resolution graphics, and buyers can also opt for a head-up display system.

Other high-tech options are adaptive cruise control with traffic jam and steering assistance as well as collision avoidance assist and cross-traffic assist.

The new A5 Sportback range is expected to reach South Africa during the second quarter of 2017, not long after the arrival of the new A5 Coupé, which is scheduled for the first quarter.

Motoring.co.za

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