The Audi A5 Sportback Could Be On The Chopping Block

Audi Chairman Bram Schot has made it his mission to reduce model complexity as he has previously said the company has been “involved in too many projects” and this has to change.

At the time, he announced Audi would focus “key projects” and examine its portfolio for “customer relevance.” This effort has already killed the TT – which will be replaced by a new “emotive model in the same price range” – and it appears more vehicles are on the chopping block.

In an interview with Autocar, Schot said “Do we want to have a normal saloon and a sportback? We’re discussing this currently for a specific model.” While Schot declined to say which car he was talking about, it’s most likely the A5 Sportback as the A7 Sportback was recently redesigned and Audi is finalizing plans for the next-generation A4 which is expected to arrive in 2022 or 2023.

Also Read: 2020 Audi A5 And S5 Show Subtle Changes Can Make A Big Difference

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors about the death of the A5 Sportback either as an earlier report suggested the A5 and A7 Sportbacks would eventually be replaced by a single five-door hatchback based on the MLB platform.

That remains unconfirmed, but the A5 Sportback isn’t as popular as the standard A4. Audi doesn’t break down sales of specific models, but the A4 lineup – which consists of A4, S4 and A4 Allroad – has been responsible for 17,657 sales in the United States through August of this year. The A5 lineup – which includes the A5, S5 and RS5 Coupes, A5 and S5 Cabriolets as well as the A5 and S5 Sportbacks – has been responsible for 15,676 sales over the same period. Given the A5 family is significantly larger than the A4’s, Sportback sales only make up a fraction of those 15,676 units.

Given this, it wouldn’t be too surprising if Audi were to concentrate its efforts on the next-generation A4 and skip the A5 Sportback altogether.  That’s not official, but it could make sense especially at a time when consumers are embracing crossovers and BMW axed their somewhat similar 3-Series Gran Turismo.

  • Leconte Dave

    I see more sportbacks than the coupe version… Weird

    • Nordschleife

      I agree sadly.

    • Six_Tymes

      the ones i see are ALL 7’s, I never see 5’s

    • Wongsakorn Wattanavekin

      Maybe it’s also up to the region, My personal experience is I see Sportback version as much as the coupe

    • I almost never see an A5/S5 coupe, it’s always a sportback. Same with the 4 series and the gran coupe.

  • Six_Tymes

    redundant. I am surprised it lasted this long.

    • Bonzomatic

      Come to Atlanta. I see more sportbacks than coupes here.

      • Nordschleife

        Here in Cali too.

  • Elmediterraneo

    Actually they should kill the 2 door Coupe and Cabriolet before thinking about axing the Sportback which is the more practical and best selling A5.

    • Nordschleife

      I don’t agree with you but I am surprised that that this article isn’t talking about the death of the coupe and the convertible.

      • driv3r

        The A5 coupé/cabriolet will be their future single true 2-door coupé/cabriolet offering once the current A3 generation is on its way out later this year and Audi has already confirmed there won’t be a direct successor to the TT models.

    • salamOOn

      agreed, sportback variant is the only one from the A5 family i would like to have.

    • Bonzomatic

      Blasphemy. The A5 started as a coupe and it should stay that way!

  • DetrinKD

    I would just make the A4 a hatchback…

  • Merc1

    NO WAY. Wrong. This car has been immesely popular. The dullard A4 is the one that needs to go or just merge the A4 and A5 SB into THIS car.

    M

    • Mike Sinyaboot ©

      Uh, what data are you using to back up your claim that “this car has been immensely popular” because the sales numbers say otherwise? Facts don’t lie and the facts show that the A5 Sportback is not even close to being “immensely popular”.

      The Sportback is a fantastic car, especially in S5 & RS5 form. Unfortunately, there are not enough customers out there to keep the model alive. Plus, it is too similar to the and Audi will obviously prefer to keep that model over the A5 Sportback.

  • Zandit75

    I think his time could be better spent fixing the ridiculous naming structure they currently have.
    For instance – A7 55 TFSI E Quattro.

    • Daniela Wolf

      U don’t understand this?

      • Zandit75

        I understand it, it’s just not necessary.

  • ScottM

    Audi has 0 chance of selling me a sedan. I’d much prefer an avant over a sportback, but at least the sportback is something I would consider as Audi refuses to sell the avant here. Ignoring that I can’t sit up in the back seat and that the cargo floor is not flat and the cargo space is truncated and I find frameless windows annoying. But it’s better than being limited to a trunk opening.

    For a business purpose of transporting clients, I get the sedan, where the sealed cabin is less noisy and cargo movement is not as noticed. But for my personal vehicle, I’ll never buy a four door with a trunk again.

  • Paul Wright

    Do not I repeat do not get rid of the A5 Sportback. It is by far the most beautiful Audi. If anything get rid of that horrible little bubble called the Q3.

  • xrnzaaas

    It’s a strange move unless they’ll make the next A5 coupe truly exciting. Dealers prefer to put A5 Sportbacks on display, because it’s much easier to sell a 5-door model rather than an unpractical three door version.

  • I prefer sportbacks, you get the utility of a SUV with the driving dynamics of a car, and the looks of a coupe. Can’t beat that.

  • Daniela Wolf

    A7 series is going to be electric that’s all.

  • SnakePlant

    Not shocking at all–they just put 5 seats back into the A7, so they don’t need this sportback A5 anymore…not at all..

  • Stephen G

    So they’re getting rid of the coupe and keeping the coupe?

  • WalthamDan

    The A5 sportback is 10X better looking, and more practical to own then the A4 sedan. That would be a shame to see it vanish.

  • Nastinupe1911

    Get rid of the sedan then.

  • DMJ

    Here in Portugal I see more A5s Sportbacks than A4 Sedans. Most of the people here buy the A4 wagon or the A5 Sportback. A5 Coupe (or 4 Series Coupe) are a rare sight, the only coupe that actually sells is the C-Class, because there is no C-Class “sportback”. So I don’t see the point of killing the A5 Sportback…probably is just a rumor.

  • botornot387

    This article is false. The A5 is more popular than the Sportback and more people want the Sportback over the sedan. The reason they resort to buying the A4 is simple: Price. The A5/S5 Sportback always commands a premium over the A4/S4 especially on lease which is very popular. If you have someone who is fixed on getting an Audi and a certain payment, then the Sportback might be a climb that they simply can’t do. Rest assured they wanted the Sportback. Also, this was always the way the brand wanted the Sportback to be. They have never positioned the car to be a volume leader like the A4.

    • SteersUright

      Exactly what you said. Make the prices equal and the A4 would be history.

  • SteersUright

    What a dumb move. The A5 Sportback is leagues better looking than the A4 Sedan. Dump the A4, not the A5.

  • klowik

    I think they should cut down the sportback version of the SUV, not the saloon. or they should either cut the 2 door or the 4 door A5.

  • driv3r

    This article would be much more credible if the authors would start to use the officially reported sales/production numbers of the manufacturers and not sales figures from one single market. Car companies operate internationally. One model that might not sell well in one market might be highly popular in other markets.

    Just looking at the official 2018 (2017) Audi Financial report reveals that Audi sold 72,786 (67,784) A5 Sportback, 20,268 (25,506) A5 Coupé and 14,725 (13,534) A5 Cabriolet globally. Any questions if Audi will *really* stop making the A5 Sportback? I don’t think so… The A5 Sportback is the backbone of the A5 family and mostly helps justifying the costs of making the Coupé and Cabriolet derivative’s.

    To put things even more into perspective: Audi sold 244,707 (215,146) A4 sedans in 2018 (2017).
    Schot talked about sedan and Sportback model in the same segment might not make sense, right? Well let’s look at another example. Audi sold 197,212 (190,696) A6 sedans in 2018 (2017) but only 19,974 (18,641) A7 Sportback.

    Well,… to which conclusion are we coming now? Which Sportback will be axed?
    @authors: If you update the article give me at least credit for my analysis. Thank you.

    • Mark

      I think you’ve got the right take here. The A7 has been a complete flop and stands alone in that space. Neither MB nor BMW have bothered with a full size sportback/grancoupe.

      • driv3r

        BMW had the 6 series GranCoupé and now has the more crossover styled 6 series GranTurismo.
        Mercedes has the CLS (though its not a Sportback-style) and additionally had the previous generation CLS Shooting Brake (which – sadly – didn’t sell well enough). So yes, it is a niche. All of them sell in low to mid five digit numbers.

    • nastinupe

      Delete your comment now before Audi sees this and decides to end production of the A7. Then I will have to find you and destroy your life.

  • Leconte Dave

    They should replace the A4 with a sportback

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