The reassuringly robust foundations of an SUV and the charismatic curves of a coupé – Audi has already successfully combined these elements to create striking new Sportback versions of its Q3 and e-tron models, and the mid-size Q5 is now following suit. It will line up alongside its perennially popular SUV counterpart with a choice of Sport, S line, Vorsprung and Edition One specification options in the first half of 2021.
The Q5 Sportback has great presence with large air inlets that flank the octagonal Singleframe. Daytime running lights feature the signature LED technology, with matrix LED units reserved for S line models and above. The continuous, elegantly sweeping shoulder line emphasises the wheels, which combine with side sill trims on the doors. The sloping rear window and the seemingly high-mounted rear bumper give the Q5 Sportback a very dynamic and powerful appearance. This is particularly true of models equipped to S line specification and above. In Vorsprung and Edition 1 versions, these are complemented by a black styling package as is customary in the UK Audi range.
The state-of-the-art technological sophistication of the new Q5 Sportback is underscored further in Vorsprung versions by rear lights featuring innovative digital OLED technology. Customers can choose from three different rear light signatures at the point of order, all of which include a dynamic coming-and-leaving-home lighting sequence and an additional safety feature – if another vehicle approaches from the rear to within two metres of the stationary Q5 Sportback, all OLED segments illuminate as a proximity warning.
The Q5 Sportback is very slightly longer than its sister model, its height and width being identical – the long wheelbase means there is ample room for five inside.
The focal point of the cabin is the cleanly styled two-section dashboard with its freestanding 10.1-inch MMI display. As in the recently updated Q5 SUV, incorporation of the third generation modular infotainment system or MIB 3 has rendered the rotary MMI control dial obsolete and enabled the introduction of full touch-screen functionality for the monitor, as well as a greatly enhanced natural language voice control system.This latest system is able to access information from the cloud to inform its responses, and can be activated by either pressing a button on the steering wheel or by saying “Hey Audi.”
The Virtual Cockpit plus with its panoramic 12.3-inch display is standard for all versions in the UK, as are MMI Navigation Plus and Audi connect internet connectivity. Useful resources such as a news feed, weather and travel updates, local fuel pricing listings and an on-street parking assistant that gauges the likelihood of finding a space at a given location also form part of the Audi connect package.
Vorsprung versions raise the bar even further technologically, adding features such as a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, a head-up display, Audi Phone Box wireless handset charging. There are also a host of advanced driver assistance upgrades available covering everything from manoevring into a parking space and then reversing out again to turning at junctions, monitoring blindspots and observing motorway lane boundaries.
In the rear there is a standard powered tailgate and a luggage compartment with a volume of 510 litres, which increases to 1,480 litres when the rear seats are folded. Vorsprung versions offer increased variability thanks to their sliding rear bench seat plus, which has a 40:20:40 configuration and offers a movable seat base and adjustable backrest angle, liberating extra space for passengers or luggage as required. The optional storage and luggage compartment package keeps things orderly and holds luggage securely.
The Q5 Sportback is set to launch in the UK with two powerful 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines – a TDI and a TFSI – each with 204PS and therefore identifiable by 40 TDI and 40 TFSI designations. The SQ5 Sportback with its 347PS twin-turbo V6 TDI will also form part of the first wave. Plug-in hybrid TFSIe variants with a choice of two outputs will follow a little later.
The four-cylinder engines are combined with a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, while the V6 TDI in the SQ5 Sportback works with an eight-speed tiptronic. All versions are shored up by quattro all-wheel-drive, with some featuring an on demand system that can disengage the rear axle in everyday driving conditions for maximum efficiency, and reconnect it predictively within fractions of a second when required.
To further boost economy a mild hybrid system employing a belt alternator starter also stores electrical energy generated during braking in a lithium ion battery. With its help the Q5 Sportback and SQ5 Sportback can coast with the engine idling or completely shut down, and are able to more fully reap the benefit of start-stop technology by disengaging their engines during deceleration at a higher speed of 13mph and below while also restarting impressively smoothly.
The 2.0 TDI in the Q5 Sportback 40 TDI quattro is not only efficient, but also particularly clean. It meets the limits of the latest emissions regulation Euro 6d-ISC-FCM or EU 6 AP. Thanks to a twin-dosing SCR system with double AdBlue injection, nitrogen oxide emissions are further reduced as appropriate for the respective operating situation. The urea solution is injected into each of two SCR catalytic converters arranged one behind the other in the exhaust system: one close to the exhaust manifold and one farther away from the engine in the exhaust system.
Comfort for the long haul is assured in all versions of the new Q5 Sportback thanks to its exceptionally lightweight multilink front and rear suspension, which from S line level upwards has a tauter sport tuning. A set-up with adaptive damper control is also available for even keener tracking of the road surface, while an adaptive air suspension system that can vary the ride height of the bodyshell in five stages and by up to 60 millimetres features in Q5 Sportback Vorsprung models. The SQ5 Sportback and SQ5 Sportback Vorsprung are equipped with an S-specific version of this versatile system, which can even make loading easier by lowering the rear axle individually by 55 millimetres at the touch of a button in the luggage compartment.
The Audi drive select dynamic handling system puts the driver in control of several technical components, including the air suspension in Vorsprung and SQ5 variants, and forms part of the standard equipment package for all models. The driver can choose from up to seven profiles.