2021 Audi Q5 Sportback Spied Hiding The Predictable

Remember when the term “Sportback” was Audi’s sophisticated way of saying sedan? Well, its meaning has been broadened to include SUVs, with the Q3 Sportback and E-Tron Sportback being the first high powered vehicles to adopt the suffix. A Q4 E-Tron Sportback will follow in 2021, but in the meantime all four rings are almost ready to unveil that – the Q5 Sportback.

Ingolstadt’s late response to the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupé was spied on during final testing at the Nürburgring ahead of an official reveal later this year. The thin camouflage applied to this near-production prototype is virtually unnecessary as we can see most of the finer details. This is essentially a 2021 Q5 facelift with a more rakish roofline to allow for a sportier side profile, although we’re sure some will prefer the normal model.

As is the case with just about all SUVs that feature this rounded shape, practicality will have to suffer, as the sleeker rear takes a toll on cargo capacity. Due to the steeper roofline, don’t expect rear headroom to match what you’ll get in the conventional-style Q5. There is a third downside to going for the Sportback derivative, as Audi will surely command a premium over the regular model.

While more and more Audi models have ditched the tablet-style infotainment system, the 2021 Q5 still has the MMI affixed to the top of the center console. That’s why we’re not surprised that its sibling Sportback is taking the same route, with the 10.1-inch touchscreen also featured in the redesigned A4 and A5 ranges with their spicy S and RS flavors.

Speaking of performance models, an SQ5 Sportback is probably only a matter of time, while an Audi spokesperson recently suggested that an RS Q5 could arrive later. Meanwhile, the regular variant is expected to debut in the coming months, most likely featuring the same intricate OLED taillights that debuted in the regular model recently.

It looks like the crossover madness can’t stop, as automakers aren’t worried that these new additions to their lineup will cannibalize sales of existing models. It remains to be seen whether people will ever return to buying sedans and wagons in bulk or whether these once-traditional body styles will continue to be eclipsed by crossovers and SUVs.

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