Monday, September 14, 2009

Frankfurt 2009: Audi S5 Sportback unveiled. No, you can't have this one, either.

If you're annoyed that the Audi A5 Sportback isn't going to be made available in the U.S., you might as well stop reading now, because this will probably be upsetting to you, especially you Shawn Forbes. Audi has just formally announced the S5 Sportback, which, as you likely gathered, kicks things up with the blown 3.0L V6 that's standard kit in the S4, available in the A6, and will shortly replace the V8 as the motivator under the S5 coupe's hood. Quattro is standard, as is the seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch gearbox; a sport differential can be added at extra cost.

Other standard S-car bits include the metallic-finished mirrors, quad pipes, snazzy S-design wheels (dubs are optional), and polished vertical grille slats. Basically, it's the S5 with two extra doors and a hatchback. It's probably a blast to drive, and it demonstrates that you can turn a standard model into a sporty hatch without going all Crosstour.

Power from the six is 333 horses and 324 lb-ft – good for a 5.4-second run to 62 mph (100 km/h) and an electro-nannied 155-mph top end. Audi says that the powertrain's good a smidge over 24 mpg – with whose grandmother behind the wheel, we have no idea. Inside? You know the deal – it's nice. Starting price when it lands in Deutschland Audi stores this spring will be €57,900, demonstrating that sensible fun doesn't necessarily come on the cheap.