Audi's Q5 crossover next in line for sportback

Industry

Audi will offer a sportback version of its top-selling Q5 crossover in the first half of next year, following a product diversification strategy the brand has employed across much of its lineup.

The 2021 Q5 Sportback shares most design and technology features with the latest-generation Q5, but with a steeply sloped rear roofline to give the crossover a more sports car-like shape.

Like the Q5, it will be powered by either a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 engine, delivering 248 hp, or an available 3-liter V-6 engine, delivering 349 hp. Pricing was not announced.

A long-wheelbase version was set to debut last weekend at the Beijing auto show and will be assembled in China for that market. Consumers in North America will only be able to buy the shorter-wheelbase version, an Audi spokesman said.

Audi has added sportback versions of other vehicles, including the A5 and A7 sedans and the e-tron crossover, as a way to appeal to consumers who prefer a sleeker, sportier design. While improving aerodynamic efficiency, the sportback versions tend to have reduced headroom in the rear seat and reduced cargo capacity, depending on the model.

Audi does not report sales of sportback derivatives separately from those of the underlying vehicle. Through the first six months of the year, the Q5 was Audi’s top-selling nameplate in the United States with 18,031 sales, down 44 percent from the previous year.

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