The previous A5 Sportback was an interesting design conundrum. They were not the first to try and fulfil the 4-door coupe niche (that would have been the Mercedes-Benz CLS) but they were the first in the compact executive class.
The original A5 coupe was designed by VW group design legend Walter de Silva and is widely regarded to be one of his best works. The gentle curve running down the flanks of the original A5, which worked so well on the shorter coupe didn’t translate on the longer Sportback however. Without the flatter boot-lid of the coupe, the Sportback and its large hatchback extended the visual weight too far back, leaving the front section of the cabin looking curiously thin.
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For this second generation, the transformation from coupe to Sportback has been much more successful, with the more complex surfacing translating better on its extended wheelbase. The long and low roof is still vast, but it’s better balanced in profile thanks to additional wedge designed into the cars profile. This is then helped further by far more prominent hips as compared to the coupe.
Finally, the Sportback's silhouette cleans up some of the coupe’s untidy surfacing junctions, all combining with a more prominent raised lip spoiler finishing off the bootlid. Overall, the main problem with the last Sportback is that one got the sense it was designed after the A5 coupe was already finished. This time around, the Sportback not only looks more resolved, but it has also been given its own design identity.