Audi’s new A5 Sportback tones up, sheds weight, could head for U.S.

Audi has introduced the brand new 2017 A5 Sportback ahead of its public debut at the upcoming Paris Auto Show.

As its name implies, the second-generation A5 Sportback is closely related to the new 2017 A5 coupe. That means it adopts precisely the kind of evolutionary design that we’ve come to expect from members of the Audi lineup over the past few years. Its front end is more chiseled than before, and its rear fascia receives new tail lamps, but the overall silhouette is carried over from the last-gen model without any major modifications.

Inside, the A5 Sportback is more spacious, more high-tech, and more luxurious than ever before. It features a high-resolution screen on top of the dashboard programmed to run Audi’s newest infotainment system, and it’s available with a fully digital and configurable instrument cluster that stands out as one of the most modern units of its kind in the entire industry. Buyers who want to stay connected can order a wireless phone charger and in-car Wi-Fi at an extra cost.

Like the coupe, the A5 Sportback ships with a 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine that makes 252 horsepower from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque between 1,600 and 4,500 rpm. A seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels, though all-wheel drive is an optional extra.

The more muscular-looking S5 occupies the next rung in the hierarchy. It boasts a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that makes 354 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque, enough to hit 60 mph from a stop in 4.7 seconds. An even faster model dubbed RS 5 will round out the lineup a little later in the production run.

At the other end of the spectrum, buyers in Europe can order an efficiency-focused model called A5 g-tron that uses a 170-horsepower 2.0-liter TFSI capable of burning either regular gasoline, natural gas, or the e-gas that Audi produces in-house. Fuel economy figures haven’t been announced yet, but they’re of little interest to us because it doesn’t sound like the g-tron model will make the trip across the pond.

Read more: Audi’s Tesla-punching sedan is beginning to take shape

The 2017 Audi A5 Sportback is scheduled to go on sale in Europe early next year. And while the last-generation model wasn’t sold on our shores, Audi execs have previously dropped strong hints that the new car was designed with the United States market in mind. However, a company spokesman told Digital Trends that a decision on whether or not to sell the Sportback here hasn’t been made yet.

Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.
Cars

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Cars

BMW’s X3 M and X4 M pack 503 horsepower in nontraditional form

BMW is starting even further from its heritage with the 2020 X3 M and X4 M performance crossovers. But with up to 503 horsepower available in each vehicle, does that really matter?
Product Review

Bigger battery and folding top add appeal, but BMW’s i8 remains ultra-niche

Want a high-performance vehicle that's more than just a frightening driving experience? Desire the look and feel of a sports car with the road manners of a luxury commuter? The BMW i8 is for you.
Cars

Amazon plugs in with $700 million investment in electric pickup company Rivian

Amazon invested $700 million for a minority stake in U.S. all-electric truck maker Rivian, according to a joint release. The announcement follows a Reuters report that GM and Amazon might invest $1 billion to $2 billion in the company.
Cars

Ford F-150 recall: Fault could cause vehicle to downshift into first gear

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 vehicles over a potential fault that could cause it to suddenly downshift into first gear. The automaker said it's currently aware of five accidents related to the issue.
Cars

Volkswagen’s hot-rodded T-Roc R is ready to shred its tires to confetti

Volkswagen released a teaser sketch to preview a hot-rodded SUV named T-Roc R. Insiders suggest it will be closely related to the mighty Golf R, meaning it will pack a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at about 300…
Cars

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…
Cars

Audi’s Geneva-bound Q4 E-Tron concept will give us a glimpse of the future

Audi has released a trio of teaser sketches to preview the Q4 E-Tron concept. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, the design study takes the form of an electric SUV with a muscular design and a tech-filled interior.
Cars

Tesla’s Dog Mode lets good Samaritans know that Fido’s A-OK

Tesla's latest over-the-air software update adds two features called Sentry Mode and Dog Mode. Sentry Mode records footage and alerts the owner if someone breaks in, while Dog Mode runs the A/C so owners can safely keep their dogs in their…
Cars

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.
Outdoors

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.
Cars

The Polestar 2, Sweden’s answer to the Tesla Model 3, begins taking shape

Volvo sister company Polestar has released a teaser image to give us our first look at the 2, its second model. Polestar tells us the 2 will arrive as a four-door fastback with a 400-hp electric powertrain and about 300 miles of range.