After months of spy shots depicting the new Audi A4 Avant, our spies were finally able to spot its sleeker sibling. No, we're not taking about the A4 Saloon, but rather the A5 Sportback. The traditional saloon is still a no-show, thus fuelling rumours about the German luxury brand potentially axing the conventional body style and keeping only the liftback for the next generation. We'll have to see about that, and in the meantime, behold the new A5.

As expected, the front half of the car will be largely identical to the A4 Avant, which has been officially confirmed to transition to the A5 designation. The gently sloped rear pillar and tailgate indicate we are indeed looking at the A5 Sportback rather than an A5 Saloon. It not only has all the production body panels in place, but also the final headlights and taillights. It's unclear whether Audi will choose to introduce the Sportback first or not, but logic tell us the more practical Avant will come slightly after this car.

2024 Audi A5 Sportback spy photos

Our spies caught the prototype from afar and therefore weren't able to take a peek inside the cabin. However, an A5 Avant (sounds weird, right?) was spotted a few months ago from the inside. It had an even larger tablet-like infotainment compared to the outgoing model, while the fully digital instrument cluster was no longer integrated into the dashboard. Expect considerably fewer physical controls on a simplified dashboard as with many recent products from the Volkswagen Group.

Riding on an evolution of the MLB platform, this will be the last A5 Sportback generation to still offer combustion engines. Audi will launch its final ICE-powered vehicles in 2025, with new products coming from 2026 to be sold as pure EVs. By 2023, the Four Rings expect to discontinue sales of ICE-powered vehicles, except in China where production could continue for a while depending on local demand.

2023 Audi A4 / RS4 Avant spy photo
2023 Audi A4 / RS4 Avant spy photo

The A5 Avant and A5 Sportback will be available with an assortment of mild-hybrid petrol and diesel engines developed to meet upcoming Euro 7 emissions regulations. Plug-in hybrid power is also in the works, but EV derivatives are not planned. Instead, Audi is plotting an A4-badged E-Tron model on a dedicated electric car platform.

An identical strategy will be applied to the combustion-engined A6 models as these will all eventually get the A7 moniker, leaving room in the lineup for a zero-emission A6. Before turning every car into an EV, Audi has pledged to roll out one more round of S and RS cars, so there will be high-performance derivatives for the A5 family.