By Mike Hanley on January 12, 2009
Luxury automakers like Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar have blurred the lines between coupes and sedans with models like the CLS-Class and the XF, respectively, and Audi appears poised to join their ranks with the Sportback concept that debuted at the Detroit auto show. Rumor has it that a production version would slate in the existing Audi lineup as an A7.
The concept follows in the footsteps of models with roof pillars that have been pulled all the way to the back of the car. This eliminates the traditional trunklid you'd find on a sedan, which Audi has replaced with a glass hatch. The front of the concept is instantly recognizable as an Audi thanks to the large rectangular grille and slim headlights.
The Sportback's interior blends traditional Audi controls, like the gear selector and air conditioning buttons, with elements like natural wood trim and a white dashboard that would have little chance of making it to production.
Audi is one of a few automakers making a push into diesel-powered cars, and the Sportback concept features a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine. This is the same diesel engine Audi is making available in its Q7 luxury SUV this year.
Senior Editor Mike Hanley is a father of three boys; he reviews new cars, admires classic cars and has embraced the minivan lifestyle. Email Mike