Audi Sportback Concept

Audi unveiled the Audi Sportback concept show car at the 2009 North American International Automobile Show. With systematic refinements to the brand's characteristic design elements, the five-door model offers a glimpse at the Audi's future design vocabulary. With its pronounced coupé-like silhouette and large rear hatch, the 4.95 m long (16.24 ft), 1.93 m wide (6.33 ft) and only 1.40 m high (4.59 ft) vehicle is boldly progressive for the luxury class.

The technology of the Audi Sportback concept is markedly futuristic. Power is provided by the world's cleanest diesel technology: the 3.0-liter V6 TDI clean diesel almost completely eliminates nitrogen oxides. This engine already meets the emissions limits of all 50 U.S. states and the EU6 standard scheduled to take effect in 2014. And numerous measures to ensure top efficiency mean that the Audi Sportback concept is expected to achieve impressive fuel consumption figures of 5.9 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (39.87 US mpg).

Since its introduction in 2004, the concept of the Sportback has established itself in the compact class. The success of the Audi A3 Sportback has exceeded even the expectations of its makers - far more customers choose the four-door model with the large rear hatch than its three-door sibling.

But it is far more than two additional doors that sets the Audi A3 Sportback apart from the base model. It is characterized by the sporting elegance of a coupe, the versatility of a five-door model, sophisticated technology and pronounced sportiness - driving dynamics in a new guise.

The launch of the first production Sportback marked the second time that Audi started a new trend in the automobile market. The development of the first Avant models in the seventies laid the foundation for a new class of automobiles far beyond the matter-of-fact utility of the classic station wagon. The marked accentuation of a futuristic and dynamic design, high-quality equipment and extreme variability have been the distinguishing features of every Audi Avant from the very beginning.

The design of the Audi Sportback concept is characterized by an almost monolithic clarity and a vast reduction of the number of lines. The roof, shoulder and sill lines appear to have been drawn with a single stroke. The window strip of the coupé with its four frameless doors was kept pronouncedly flat. Viewed from the side, the softly contoured wheel wells over the 10-spoke, 21-inch wheels reinforce the impression of the precisely defined surfaces of the body.

The tail of the show car is also evidently related to the A5 coupé. The high top edge of the rear hatch gives rise to a strikingly clear surface below the rear lights.

The low separating edge and the horizontal lines - another characteristic feature - underscore the width and therefore the sporty nature of the Audi Sportback concept. The four tailpipes integrated into the body and an air deflector in the diffuser insert are cues borrowed from the sportscar sector.

The interior design is tidy and downright purist yet elegant at the same time. The large glass roof underscores the width and feeling of spaciousness. In the driver-oriented cockpit, the air vents, instrument cluster and retracting MMI monitor are outlined by a filigree aluminum border.

The flat display of the MMI system is realized as a retractable system in the show car. When the ignition is activated, it extends horizontally from a slot above the central air register before moving in an elegant arc into a vertical, easy-to-read position.

The high quality of the materials and manufacturing-level fit and finish are obvious when looking around the interior of the Audi Sportback concept and when touching the surfaces. The interior trim is almost completely in leather: from the headlining, dashboard, doors and the entire seat upholstery all the way through to the trunk, with the leather stitching underscoring the vehicle's design language. The large wood trim strips on the instrument panel, center console and doors are machined from oak blockboard and sport a delicate horizontal pattern of light and dark lines.

Four sporty seats await the driver and passengers. The diamond-shaped stitching of the leather surface is reminiscent of a classic GT tradition. Shoulder, head and leg room are reminiscent of a premium-class touring car. With a volume of 500 liters (17.66 cubic feet), the trunk is generously sized and is also appointed with high-quality materials.

The developers at Audi chose the world's cleanest diesel technology as the unit best befitting the Audi Sportback concept show car. The six-cylinder 3.0 TDI clean diesel is equipped with a system for the effective reduction of nitrogen oxides. The diesel engine development engineers at Audi have combined an entire package of innovative measures for this latest TDI generation: The piezo common rail system with an injection pressure of 2,000 bar, highly efficient exhaust gas recirculation and optimized turbocharging result in significantly reduced raw engine emissions. One of the highlights are the combustion chamber sensors that enable even more precise regulation of the combustion processes in the engine - this is the first time that such sensors have been installed on any engine in the world, marking yet another Audi innovation.

Source: Audi press

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