What is it?
Not quite a sedan, not quite a coupe and not exactly a station wagon, Audi's four-door Sportback will come to the U.S. as a 2018 model in the A5 and S5 configurations. Until now only available in Europe, the new Sportbacks may fill a niche somewhere between the luxury sedan and the luxury SUV — a plush but practical alternative for city folks who don't want to drive a road hog.
Why it matters
Audi continues to chew away at bigger German rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW, and may take away sales here as it has with its luxury SUV models.
The Sportbacks, new to America, get updated engines and share refreshed design elements with the 2018 A5 and S5 two-door coupes also debuting at the auto show. Audi says the new models maintain generous cabin space while lowering and widening the vehicles' stance. All four vehicles share new engines and upgraded driver assistance programs.
Seeking to gain ground in the performance sedan realm, Audi may be going after SUV shoppers rather than sedan shoppers. Depending on price, these may include people looking at anything from a Mercedes E300 wagon to a Porsche Macan crossover to one of the sportier Land Rovers.