California Autos Examiner

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hatched: Audi adds to the four door coupe nest with the A5 Sportback

Audi A5 Sportback (source: audi)

There is nothing like a hot, new trend to get automotive designers excited. It seems that the very second one company finds a slightly unique new body design that resounds with customers, all the competing brands shout “Niche!” and run to the design studio to come up with their own offering.

Click to view the slideshow to examine the A5 Sportback from all angles.

So it has been with the very stylish Mercedes CLS which is a less functional sedan or a more functional coupe depending on whether you like your glass of water half full or half empty. Volkswagen responded to the CLS by saying “We can do that for about half the sticker!” and the Volkswagen CC was born. BMW has responded with the 5 Series GT which offers more practical, wagon replacement styling. Porsche has the ├╝ber expensive Panamera for those drivers who feel the need to terrify three passengers seated in relative comfort. Now Audi has now taken the wraps off the A5 Sportback because you can’t have a German dog pile without every German dog on the pile.

Reviews of the Sportback have been favorable, but then again when was the last time you read a negative review of an Audi?

You can lust all you want for this car, but Audi says its only for looking, not touching here in the USA. Edmunds says that it has something to do with headliner thickness and U.S. crash regulations. Bah, humbug! I’m sure that Audi could change its tune if the exchange rates are favorable and this segment takes off. If nothing else, take comfort in the fact if this particular Sportback won’t be offered here in the States that means that the A6 wagon is probably safe. This is not the same scenario over at BMW where the company is letting it slip that if Americans are drawn to the 5 Series GT hatch it could be curtains for the 5 wagon in the USA. This would be most unwelcomed news, so as far is this author is concerned the Germans can keep their swoopy hatches if it threatens the survival of the more practical wagons.

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