Audi USA boss hints at the arrival of only A5 variant not available in the market

Audi’s A5 lineup has been a broken family of sorts in the U.S. due to the absence of the A5 Sportback in the market. But if a recent report is to be believed, a reunion may be in the cards. Audi is apparently close to giving the green light to bring the A5 Sportback in the U.S. market. According to Automotive News, Audi of America chief Scott Keogh has hinted that a third A5 body style is coming Stateside. Since the A5 only has three available body styles and two of them – the A5 Coupe and the A5 Convertible – are already being offered in the U.S., Keogh might as well have shouted “A5 Sportback!” at the top of his lungs.

Audi isn’t expected to make an official announcement soon, but there is some expectation that it could happen sometime in late 2016, or at least before the second quarter of 2017. That places the announcement just before the A5 Sportback’s rumored arrival in dealerships. In the event it does arrive, don’t expect it to come with the multitude of powertrain options that are currently available in Europe. If anything, Audi could follow the template it has for the Audi A4, which only has a 2.0-liter TFSI engine that pumps out 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque available in the U.S. That said, Audi could still give owners a choice on what kind of drive system they prefer: front-wheel drive or quattro all-wheel drive.

In the event the A5 Sportback does hit the market, expect Audi to throw everything it can into promoting the car as a great alternative to the incumbents of its segment. That would include models like the Volvo V60, the Mercedes E-Class Wagon, and most importantly, the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon.

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Why it matters

I’ve seen this song-and-dance number before when an automaker hints at something and then ultimately doesn’t deliver. So I know how the game works, and as excited as I want to be, I don’t want to get too excited because I know that there’s still a long time between today’s report and 2017. That said, I’d by lying if i didn’t say that I had a little pep on my step when I first heard the news.

It’s a shame that there aren’t a lot more sports wagons in the U.S. Granted, I know that the segment hasn’t traditionally been a strong one in this market, but there have been signs in recent years that the interest is picking up. BMW already has the 3 Series Sports Wagon here and while Mercedes hasn’t said if the CLA Shooting Brake is going here, I don’t doubt for one second that it’s talked about it one point or another.

The point is that the car market in the U.S. is becoming healthier and with more money coming into the industry, there’s an opening for a segment or two to become bigger than they’ve been in the past years. I’m not one to make predictions, but I do think that sports wagons could begin to gain traction in the sales race. It’s not going to approach compact cars, crossovers, or SUVs just yet, but none of these companies expect it to in the first place.

All they want is a healthy market and that’s where I think the sports wagon segment is heading. Audi would be smart to take advantage of that instead of letting other companies, especially BMW have all the fun. So yes, I do think that the A5 Sportback has a chance to finally arrive in the U.S. And for what it’s worth, I think Audi’s going to come out smelling like peaches for signing off on this move.

2017 Audi A5 Sportback

Read our full review on the Audi A5 Sportback here.

Source: Automotive News

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