THE NEW Audi A5 Sportback is probably one of the more unusual vehicles to come out of Germany in recent years.

THE NEW Audi A5 Sportback is probably one of the more unusual vehicles to come out of Germany in recent years.

What the designers have done is take the strong points of several cars in their vast range and mould them together to produce this new concept.

Audi describe it as "the best of three worlds".

Drawing on the elegance of a coupé, comfort of a sedan and practicality of a station wagon makes the Sportback definitely more individualistic than run-of-the-mill.

The vehicle is a lot lower than the traditional A4 and is also considerably wider.

This effectively gives it that squat, sporty look they desired.

It must be stressed, though, that the Sportback is strictly a four-seater, so you miss out on the luxury of transporting a fifth person if that is what you are used to.

Also adding to the sleek look are the frameless door frames, tapered tail and rear spoiler.

Interior-wise the space is ample for those in the front and rear. A problem often associated with the traditional coupé is rear headroom for those over 1,8m tall. Fortunately this new car takes care of that so there should be no more banging of heads against the roof.

I cannot help but mention the boot. An enormous 480 litres should be enough to store a couple of sets of golf clubs - and still have space left over - but if needed you can fold the rear seats flat and it balloons into a massive 980 litres.

Now for the guts of the car ... the engine!

On offer at present are three models: a 2,0-litre turbo petrol, 3,2-litre V6 petrol and a 3,0-litre TDI diesel.

Each is equipped with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and the ride is not only silky smooth but has the thrust of a rocket booster if need be.

When overtaking just plant your right foot and in no time the car you were overtaking is a dot in your rear view mirror.

I am not going to mention all the fancy gadgets the vehicles come with. Let's just say it has all the goodies you would expect from a vehicle in this price range .

Audi expects to sell in the region of 100 vehicles a month in the A5 range - the Sportback competing with the coupé and the recently introduced soft-top.