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New Audi A5 Sportback and Avant: prices, specs and info on sleek new compact execs

The new ICE and hybrid Audi A5 is due by year’s end in hatchback and estate forms

Audi is fundamentally changing its key compact executive range in 2024, replacing the longstanding A4 nameplate with a pair of new A5 models. This is in-line with Audi’s new naming convention that separates its combustion and electric ranges. As the next generation A4 goes electric, the A5 moniker will be reimagined into a fresh Sportback and new Avant, and our exclusive image previews how it could look.

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The new pair of Audi A5s will act as direct rivals to the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series, but will not extend into any further body styles, killing off the A5 two-door Coupe and Convertible. Yet the Sportback and estate models will still feature low-slung and sleek styling. They’ll also each get high performance S models with an all-new flagship Audi RS 5 Avant on course to join the range next year. 

That new all-electric A4 E-Tron, as it’ll be called, is still a few years off but we know it will be based on Audi’s all-electric PPE platform when it does arrive in late 2026 or 2027. This will leave the A5 to do the duties in the compact executive class with a range of combustion powertrains, most including mild hybrid or plug-in hybrid technology.   

Audi A5: exterior and interior design

As the Sportback name would suggest, the A5 will adopt both a sleeker silhouette and a rear hatchback in place of a more upright three-box design like the old A4 saloon. As our spy images confirm, the new A5 will diverge greatly from the existing models, adopting Audi’s new design language. This is seen in new elements like a slimmer low-mounted grille, plus thin LED headlights which help portray a wider and more aggressive stance. Flush-fitting door handles, fresh alloy wheel designs and a rear light bar round out the exterior changes.

The Audi A5 interior will be totally new, debuting a more contemporary interior layout dominated by a new generation of digital interfaces. We don’t expect the triple-screen layout from the new Q6 e-tron here, as Audi will likely retain this for its upper-level EVs and more premium offerings. Physical controls will be kept to a minimum, but the functionality of key controls surrounding the air-conditioning and driver assistance systems are understood to be much easier to access than in current VW Group products.

Powertrains and platform

The next A5 will sit on a highly upgraded version of the previous car’s MLB platform, although it’ll be badged PPC. This will support a line-up of heavily updated combustion engines, which Audi’s Chief Technical Officer, Oliver Hoffman, describes as “the best [the company] has ever launched”.

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Most of the line-up will be based around an updated version of the Volkswagen Group’s omnipresent EA888 turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. Improvements will include new variable-section turbochargers that claim to improve throttle response and a higher-pressure fuel injection system.

Hybridisation will play a key role in the A5 range. The petrol engine will be offered with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology at the lower end of the line-up and full-blown plug-in hybrid technology at the upper end of the range. The latter option will probably introduce a new and more energy dense battery pack in order to rival systems found in comparative Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series models, so it’ll need to offer an electric-only range of around 60 miles in order to compete.

Diesel engines will also remain, although they’ll be a more niche option compared to Audi’s line-up of electrified petrol engines. The bulk of the diesel range should be based around the same 201bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit also found in the Q5 SUV, with the S5 below offering the sole V6 in the initial A5 range.

Audi S5: powertrains and bodystyle

The current S4 made the switch from petrol to diesel in 2019, using a mild-hybridised turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 producing 342bhp and offering 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds. Despite a sharp reduction in diesel sales, the new S5 will continue to offer this powertrain, majoring on effortless cruising and impressive economy.

Prototypes of the new S5 Sportback and Avant reveal a design that will be almost identical to S-Line versions of the A5, but feature the few S-specific styling elements including the typical quad exhaust finishers. Later in 2025, Audi will also reveal an all-new RS 5 Avant, this time utilising a new high performance plug-in hybrid V6 powertrain.

It’ll also feature an even more distinctive body with widened arches and aggressive design details, with a high emphasis on making it feel more distinct from the base cars. This will rival the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance and pure combustion BMW M3 Touring when it arrives, potentially splitting the two on power.

Audi A5 and S5: pricing and launch date

We have seen the A5 and S5 testing for several months now, so a 2024 unveiling for both cars seems likely. We expect a bump in price for the new A5, not only over the current A4’s starting price of £38,985, but the current A5’s £44,010 entry-level price. The sportier S5 should start well over the £50,000 mark.

Now read our list of the best executive cars...

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Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

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