BMW pioneered the coupe-like SUV genre with the X6 in 2008. Since then, other German automakers have jumped on the bandwagon, particularly Mercedes-Benz which now has more variations than we can count.
Audi’s first response was the Q8, a large crossover that hit the market just two years ago. The sub-compact Q3 Sportback came a year later (for Europe). However, the compact Q5 is the brand’s best-selling SUV, so naturally a Sportback model will follow suit.
- Also: Refreshed 2021 Audi Q5 Was Designed by a Canadian
- Also: The Car Guide’s 2020 Best Buys: Audi Q5
More Dynamic Looks
The new Audi Q5 Sportback visually stands out from the conventional SUV with Rhombus-style apertures in the grille reminiscent of RS models. The front air intakes are unique, too.
Behind the B-pillars, the body takes on a different shape. The Q5 Sportback has a longer, more sloping rear section punctuated by OLED taillights and a new rear bumper incorporating a sporty diffuser. Roof rails are absent to ensure a cleaner look, although customers will be able to add them as an option.
“The Q5 Sportback is aimed at a younger, more active crowd who likes expressive design, which is why it looks more dynamic,” explains Danny Garand, chief designer for the Audi Q5 and Q5 Sportback.
The interior doesn’t change one bit, however. There’s the same third-generation MIB infotainment system and available sliding second-row seats.
Two Available Powertrains
The new Audi Q5 Sportback is based on the same platform as the Q5 and will be assembled at the same Mexican plant. Unlike Europe, Canada will get only two powertrain options, namely a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine rated at 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, plus a TFSI E-Hybrid variant that adds an electric motor built into the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a 14.1-kWh battery for a total output of 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet.
AWD is standard along with a sport suspension. The latter can be replaced with an adaptive air suspension allowing drivers to increase the ride height by 45 millimetres for off-road driving or lower the rear end of the vehicle by 55 millimetres for easier access to the cargo area. All of the advanced safety features found on the regular Q5 are also included on the Q5 Sportback.
On Sale in Spring of 2021
The new Audi Q5 Sportback will go on sale in Canada next spring, with pricing to be announced closer to launch. Expect this model to be slightly more expensive than the standard Q5, just like the Q8 has a bigger price tag than the Q7.
By the way, a Sportback variant of the SQ5 will join the lineup at a later time, improving performance with a 3.0-litre V6 and eight-speed autobox while adding several S design cues. Aluminum-style mirror caps and oval-shaped twin exhaust tips are just two examples, Garand says.
What about an RS Q5 (and RS Q5 Sportback)? We’ve repeatedly asked the question to Audi’s PR staff but couldn’t get a direct answer. Since the company already sells an RS Q8 in multiple markets, plus an RS Q3 in Europe and other places not named Canada or the U.S., it would be the next logical step. We’ll keep you posted.