Audi Sportback Concept - Click above for a high-res image gallery
During yesterday's Audi AG investors meeting, Rupert Stadler, the automaker's chairman, confirmed what's been assumed for some time: the RS5 will be available in both coupe and cabrio forms, the A5 Sportback is due out later this year and the redesigned A8 will debut in late 2009. And there's more... after the jump.
[Sources: Audi, CAR]
On the RS5 front, the UK's CAR magazine has confirmed that the 4.2-liter V8 found in the RS4 and R8 will be fitted to the new high-po coupe, with output pegged at around 450 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque and delivering a 0-60 time in the mid-four-second range. A series of weight reduction measures will be employed in addition to the beefed-up brakes and suspension, and a topless variant will arrive soon after the RS5 hits dealers later this year.
The A5 Sportback, originally shown in concept form at the Detroit Auto Show, will be available sometime this year, likely packing the 211-hp, 2.0-liter TFSI, the company's new supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and a revised diesel V6 putting out around 240 hp and a boatload of torque. Stadler is convinced the A5 Sportback is a model that will be embraced by consumers looking for something that offers, "the ideal blend of functionality and aesthetics."
Stadler went on to say the next-generation A8 will be the sportiest model in its segment "and set new standards with regard to interiors." The 2010 A8 will debut sometime in November, so we expect Audi's flagship to appear at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Stadler also discussed the new A1 minicar, which will go on sale in 2010, along with a hybrid Q5 CUV and the smaller Q3 crossover arriving in 2011. Audi's detailed product outline also included an announcement that start-stop technology is in the works and will join kinetic energy recovery systems as early as late 2009. At first, the new tech will be fitted to the A3 1.4 TFSI and A4/A5 with the 2.0-liter four fitted with a manual transmission. Audi's goal is to reduce fuel consumption in its range by 20% by 2012, compared to 2007 levels, so it's expected that all of this new tech will filter through to the rest of the Audi line-up in the next three years.