Baby got back: 2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback debuts in New York

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As much as we love Audi Sport's latest RS 5 coupe, the car's two-door body is definitely a limiting factor. Which coupe owner doesn't feel a tinge of pain folding down the front seats whenever friends or family, muddy shoes and all, have to climb into the back?

The solution is the new RS 5 Sportback revealed on Wednesday at the 2018 New York auto show. Due in showrooms in the second half of 2018 as a 2019 model, the sporty hatch combines stunning performance with a everyday usability.

The mechanical package is the same as in the coupe, meaning you get a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 with 450 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, with the latter peaking from 1,900 rpm all the way to 5,000. The mighty motor is paired up with an 8-speed automatic that then routes the power to a rear-biased (40:60) all-wheel-drive system. An available Sport differential can be added to further split torque between the rear wheels.

2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback

2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback

Audi quotes a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds and top speed of 174 mph—impressive considering the five-seater weighs a hefty 4,056 pounds. Note, that top speed is with the available Dynamic Plus package. Otherwise, the top speed is 155 mph.

In the ride and handling department, there's a standard RS-spec sport suspension that drops the ride height a further 0.3 inches compared to the S5 Sportback already in showrooms. The suspension can also be enhanced with adjustable dampers.

The RS 5 Sportback certainly looks the part with its power dome hood and wide, flat single-frame grille, solid air intakes with a honeycomb structure typical of an RS car, jutting front spoiler, and pumped fenders. A set of 19-inch wheels is standard and 20-inchers available.

2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback

2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback

Inside, the sporty theme is continued with bucket seats with an available honeycomb pattern in fine Nappa leather, plus a flat-bottomed steering wheel and numerous RS logos. There's also a special RS operating system for the digital instrument cluster that provides information on tire pressure, torque and G forces. A shift indicator is also featured when the transmission is switched into manual mode.

Pricing information will be announced closer to the market launch but expect to pay a slight premium on the $70,875 you have to pay for the coupe.

For more N.Y. auto show coverage, head to our dedicated hub.

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