Audi A5 Sportback – Click above for high-res image gallery

The arrival of the Audi A7 in the U.S. is almost a given, designed to slot in – predictably – between the A6 and all-new A8, while finally providing Audi with a Mercedes-Benz CLS competitor. But what of the A5 Sportback?

According to our sources, the success of the A7 will play a key role in Audi's decision to import the A5 Sportback into the States. If the A7 is well received, the Sportback could be slotted in as a smaller alternative to the larger A7 and its closest competitor, the CLS. We haven't been given a timeline on when the A7 could arrive, but with the European launch happening early next year, a Stateside debut in 2011 isn't out of the question.

Audi's product expansion isn't just limited to new models, but includes the continued proliferation of available drivetrains. To that end, a diesel-powered A8 should arrive in the U.S. sometime next year.

When the A8 goes on sale this November, both the standard and long-wheelbase versions will launch simultaneously, each packing Audi's 372 horsepower 4.2-liter FSI V8. The 500-hp W12, however, won't be an option on the A8L until the first quarter of 2011. If Audi decides to equip the A8 with a diesel, expect the same 3.0-liter V6 TDI fitted to the refreshed Q7, outputting around 225 hp and 406 pound-feet of torque.

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