The Audi A5 Sportback has been spied, and it could be an indirect replacement for the A4 sedan.
Last week, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann confirmed the luxury brand will shift its naming structure with even numbers denoting EVs, and odd numbers for vehicles with internal-combustion engines.
This means the A4 sedan and wagon will be no more once the next-generation replacements are revealed.
While we’ve already seen the A5 wagon and, now, the A5 Sportback, a sedan variant has so far not been sighted, pouring fuel onto rumours that the A4 sedan will be axed.
If this is the case, it will be interesting to see what happens to the A5 range in the US and China, both markets which prefer sedans. It’s possible Audi may develop a special long-wheelbase A5 sedan just for China, something it has already done with the A7.
The A5 Sportback has an all-new body, but is an exemplar of the brand’s steady-as-she-goes design evolution. The grille is wider, but not as tall as before, while the headlights live within traditional single piece coverings, rather than the split treatment that’s coming to the larger A6 e-tron.
Along the side, the A5 Sportback, like the wagon, has a crisp shoulder line that runs the length of the car, as well as creased bulges above the wheel arches. Flush-fitting lift-up door handles should be a little more aerodynamic than the current pull-out set.
On closer inspection, the A5 Sportback may lose one of its distinctive “four-door coupe” features: frameless windows. With the A4 sedan said to be on the chopping block, the reversion to framed door windows could be one way to bridge the gap between the two body styles, as well as increasing parts commonality with the A5 wagon.
Aside from the fact that the A5 range will have internal combustion engines, we don’t know much else about the upcoming car’s engine lineup.
Rumours indicate a new plug-in hybrid system will be used alongside petrol and diesel engines. While Mercedes-Benz has decided to make the C-Class a four-cylinder only proposition, it’s possible performance A5 variants will continue with V6 motivation.
Under the skin, the new A5 is thought to be based on an updated version of the MLB Evo architecture. This means it will have longitudinally mounted engines with either front- and all-wheel drive setups.
An earlier set of spy photos of the A5 Avant, showed the new car’s interior will feature a rectangular digital instrumentation panel ahead of the driver, while in the centre of the dashboard will be a large free-standing touchscreen infotainment display.
Climate control functions look as though they are integrated into the touchscreen display, with the most of the physical buttons and switches relegated to the centre tunnel.
With the current A4 range dating back to 2016, it’s likely the A5 Avant and Sportback will make their debuts either later this year or some time next year.
MORE: Everything Audi A5