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Audi makes up its mind: Carmaker to sell A5 and S5 Sportback models in the U.S.

Audi A5 Sportback
When it unveiled Sportback five-door hatchback versions of its A5 and S5 at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, Audi said it hadn’t made a final decision on whether these models would be sold in the U.S., alongside existing coupe and convertible versions. It seems Audi has made up its mind.

At the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show this week, Audi announced that the A5 and S5 Sportback will be sold in the U.S.. They’ll arrive this spring as 2018 models. While mechanically identical to the A5 and S5 coupe and convertible models, the Sportback variants offer more practicality, in a package that’s still more stylish than the average SUV.

The Sportback models feature the same evolutionary version of Audi’s current design language as their coupe and convertible cousins. They combine that with a sloping roofline and steeply-raked rear hatch adapted from the larger A7 and S7 models. This is part of the trend among German manufacturers to try to sell vehicles with more than two doors as “coupes” based on expressive styling.

Powertrains are shared with the coupe and convertibles, meaning the A5 Sportback gets a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Audi says it will do 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. The sportier S5 Sportback gets a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 with 354hp and 369 lb-ft, enough for 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, according to Audi.

The A5 Sportback uses a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, while the S5 uses a conventional automatic with eight forward gears. All Sportback models come standard with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive, and Audi will offer an array of tech options, including the “Virtual Cockpit” digital dashboard display, MMI infotainment system with handwriting recognition, and 4G LTE connectivity.

Pricing information for the 2018 Audi A5 and S5 Sportback will be released closer to the cars’ springtime launch.

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