BMW be careful – Here comes the Audi Sportback Concept

Auto Shows | January 12th, 2009 by 30
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One of the main attraction and pleasant surprises at Detroit Auto Show is the Audi Sportback Concept, a four door vehicle with a coupe feel …

One of the main attraction and pleasant surprises at Detroit Auto Show is the Audi Sportback Concept, a four door vehicle with a coupe feel and look. Having design features imported from the Audi A5 Coupe, the Audi Sportback Concept is more of a preview of the A7 Sedan due to arrive next year.

If you’re still unclear about the term “Sportback”, then allow me to explain it briefly. The Sportback naming convention refers to a fastback sedan with a more coupeish roofline, something we have seen in the Porsche Panamera. Audi’s CEO, Rupert Stadler says that similar designs will be implemented in the Audi line-up.

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Many journalists, including our friends at Jalopnik, talk about the Audi Sportback as being similar to the BMW X6, a bit shorter and sitting on lower suspensions.  As far as myself, I do see some similarities in the rear-end, but the comparison stops right there.

We have mentioned before that BMW sees Audi as their newest and toughest competitor, going head-to-head in almost every market. The new Sportback Concept is going after the premium segment and Audi actually has a chance.


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The front-end of Sportback Concept is absolutely stunning, from the “bling-bling” sexy LED headlights, to the large upright grille and sharper lines.

Put those together with an a simple but very modern interior design, and we might have a winner. The light colored leather trim fits perfectly with the high-quality wood trim and of course, the exceptional Audi Multi-Media Interface.

Some of the previous Audi interiors, while they were still top notch, gave you the impression of cramming too many features and buttons together into the dashboard, but this one, it’s a all different game. Of course, if you’re into the driver-oriented dashboard design, then this might not be for you.


And to make our jaws really drop, Audi added the panoramic roof, which says “Hello Mercedes, we are here”.

The engine powering the Sportback Concept is the one which Audi Q7 will be using: the 3.0-liter TDI diesel with 225hp/406 lb-ft. Of course, quattro is part of the deal, along with the seven-speed S-Tronic dual clutch gear box.

Top speed? Around 152mph and still maintaining an fuel efficient status: 39 mpg.


Now we all know that we at BMWBlog are all bimmer fans, but I have to be objective and hand it to Audi, they designed this car based on future trends and changing the game a little bit. Could BMW do the same? We can only hope so, with so many new models coming out in the near future.

But allow me to ask a question before you can all jump to the next article, could the Sportback Concept/A7 sedan make you jump ship?

30 responses to “BMW be careful – Here comes the Audi Sportback Concept”

  1. roffle waffle says:

    hmm wonder if they can finally build a new roadster that weighs less that the z3

  2. Gragop says:

    The 123d is actually an intriguing little car. Hell of a lot of torque too. That might be the kind of car that could show US buyers that diesels are fun.

  3. Brookside says:

    The Z2 is the one I’m interested in…..and very hopeful about. Mostly because of the great job BMW did with their last small automobile, the 1-series coupe.
    If they can bring out something sporty that doesn’t feel like a watered down Z4 and that has it’s own unique strengths equal to it’s bigger brother- then I’m all for it.

  4. Gord says:

    Cool, I guess BMW’s plans are to make eco-green cars that are fun. Great.

  5. Giom says:

    You lucky…. person! Meeting all those top people -and Julia Blasi. These people are my idols, so just know how fortunate you are!


  6. bunker says:

    Nice get on the 411, Horatiu. Thanks!

  7. Dare says:

    I have already jumped one…

  8. Lawrence says:

    Wow, the car is extremely beautiful. No bimmer to date is touching this car. Will I jump ship ? HELL YEAH! Audi has always toped BMW as far as design in and out. Well I’ll have to keep building up my credit so I can get one next year. Oh and the “S” model will sport the Lamborghini engine, Uh oh!

  9. miles says:

    the back looks like a lambo. im not a fan of audi’s…until now they have all been extremely they look o.k., i dont think they are anything to write home about though

  10. Chris says:

    This isn’t an X6 competitor – it seems more like a CS competitor. If only that hadn’t been cancelled.

  11. Heikki says:

    I truly believe that the CS Concept find its way to product, because BMW also said same about X5/X6 M, which will never produce, but they will come!

  12. Gragop says:

    Dunno why my comment on the 123d showed up over here. Weird.

    Anyway, this thing looks great, inside and out. Considering it’s a hatchback the rear looks well sorted. Hopefully this will motivate BMW to produce more attractive vehicles.

  13. Bobo says:

    To me Audi have lost their uniqueness and some of their competitors have caught up on them. Before if you wanted a safe car that you could use in the winter you bought an Audi because of the Quattro. Now Both BMW and MB have developed their own 4×4 systems and offer them on a wide range of their cars. Nowadays all Audis look almost the same, only with different sizes. You buy a BMW because it is a little bit understated and because IT IS The ultimate driving machine. You buy a MB because you want a posh car which is extremely comfortable. You buy an Audi because …. (See my point?)

    • Saleem says:

      I disagree aside from BMW, Audi has been most daring and unique with thier styling. I am a bit upset with the A6 but thats it. the rest of thier cars are gorgeous. Merc has fell way off and the new hyundai Genesis has surpassed it in looks LOL

      In my World there is just BMW and AUDI. Ken and Ryu. You pick the winner.

      I have my likes and dislikes about this sportback concept I hope they change a few things.

  14. Bobo says:

    Would I jump the ship? For an Audi – NO For a Mercedes-Benz – Maybe: if they make something radical, better the steering, the build quality and if BMW do not have a competent rival in the segment :)

  15. Gord says:

    Not sure why my comment showed up here, but would this sportback be considered niche ?

  16. Horatiu B. says:

    @Gord: I’m confused. Where did you post the comment?

  17. Matski says:

    Errm, going on what you guys are saying I must be looking at different pictures, this is an eye-sore. Its horrendous! I think this is Audi’s version of the PAS, 4 seat hatch, coupeish etc. Less like the CLS and more like the ‘V5’…

    Except, the ‘Sportback’ seems to have space for a 3rd row of seating INFRONT of the front axle! How HUGE is that front overhang!?, hideous gaping-guppy-gob-grille, angry “I need more sleep” headlights.. I don’t like much about this car at all, actually I like nothing about it’s design…

    They did rip off one thing from BMW,.. the decision to unveil concepts in truly Vile colours.

    Cars of this ‘niche’ are nothing new I remember driving the Rover 827i sport, same shape (the “Fast Back”), same “ethos”… also a bit ugly.. except Rover spouted less Bull**** about the car than Audi (or BMW for that matter.. just to justify the cars shape).

    I’m sorry to go off on one, but this is a fugly design… truly, I cannot express enough how much this design fails to inspire anything but hate in me. It makes me think of seeing 26st women in skin tight trousers pushing shopping trolleys around budget supermarkets… wierd comparison – I may be on my own on that one but seriously… this is a design only someone who’s blind (or a fourringophile) could love… Audi! PUT THE UGLY STICK BACK IN THE BOX!!!

  18. bunker says:

    This car is gorgeous. I very much like the tweak to the “gaping maw” grille to angular-ize it a bit. The front end is completely wicked. What strikes me the most though is how much the interior of this car looks like the current BMW 3er interior, even though everyone and their mother thinks the current Audi interior is best in class.

  19. patricksixer says:

    Lots and lots of CS Concept cues here. LOL, for once BMW leads Audi…!

    Other than that, looks like another great “4 door coupe” offering. Also, I don’t see much X6 at all, not sure why that one belongs here. These are cars here haha…

    Great looking car though.

  20. Josh B says:

    Really very nice. The cs concept was much much better though. But this concept will most likely make its way into production through the A7. If u look at what clues Audi have given about the upcoming A8 it has alot of similur atributes as the concept. Same front lights and the same back lights. I would put my money on this concept, we will be seeing alot more of this kind of styling from Audi,
    (maybe not as outrages…concepts)

  21. Josh B says:

    P.S, WHY 4 SEATS!!!!! I hate this idea. Have an option of 5 seats at least! The BMW X6 should have 5 seats, aswell as the M.B CLS. Yes yes its a niche market, sports coupe blah blah blah but regardless you are making the car less practicle. When the CLS came out my dad loved it and wanted one but it only had 4 seats. (thats when “they” were M.B people) tisk tisk, just plain stupid i think no matter what the sales peolpe may argue with their statistics.

  22. Gord says:

    Maybe their grille is a bit odd, but otherwise pretty nice. I really like the roof.

    Horatiu B, my first comment was for an article on the future 1-series, but it ended up here. If you look at the date it says the 11th and this article was posted on the 12th.

  23. mpower says:

    No Thanks.

    BMW 4 LIFE. !

  24. Jag says:

    I like the rear view, it looks better than any other Audi now. but the side view and the front view don’t give me much sensations. and the interior, don’t you see it’s a little new-Z4 there?

  25. Artmic says:

    I like the look of this car better than the BMW 5 for sure.

  26. BeMyWife says:

    are you serious? to each his own but that car hurts my eyes are you serious, it looks so uneven and looks like a more horrendous estoque no thank son…now Bmw needs to hurry up and re=approve the freaking CS, like cOme ONNN

  27. Sam says:

    Very nice, except for the front, it looks better than any BMW. Put a six cylinder diesel in it and I will jump, otherwise, I have no choice but the 335d.

  28. Saleem says:

    The back needs some tweaking.

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