Thursday 18 January 2018

More of the same, only different, from new Audi A5

First drive in Ingolstadt: Audi A5

The Audi S5 Coupe.
The Audi S5 Coupe.

Cathal Doyle

It is hardly a surprise that Audi’s latest A5 Coupé hasn’t veered too far from the successful original in terms of looks.

The recently-unveiled motor is due in Ireland before the end of the year.

The A5, in Coupé, Sportback and Cabriolet versions, has been an important car for the luxury maker as it has decent practicality in a stylish body shape.

 More than 2,500 A5 and S5 models have been sold here since the car first arrived in 2007.

What you get is a neat evolution of the existing A5, but it does follow current Audi family styling trends.

New creases along the side, a lower and wider front grille, and a bonnet bulge are notable features that distinguish it from the A4 saloon with which it shares a platform and many parts.

A lightweight body built on a new chassis is up to 60kg lighter than the car it replaces.

It’s bigger than before too, meaning more interior space, and comes with a boot 10 litres more spacious (465 litres).

Understandably, they are making a big deal of the technological advances, notably the optional Audi virtual cockpit with a 12.3ins TFT display.

Go for the MMI navigation option and you get the Audi connect SIM for on-the-go internet access.

Also new to the second generation A5 are a host of driver assistance systems including a predictive efficiency assistant that helps the driver save fuel, and Stop&Go adaptive cruise control. Audi tell us the A5 will also have higher equipment levels. Expect the likes of xenon headlights with LED DRLs and LED rear lights, the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, and Audi pre-sense city as standard.

A choice of two petrol and three diesel engines are up to 17pc more powerful than before with horsepower outputs of between 190hp and 286hp. Fuel efficiency, they say, is improved by up to 22pc. Audi in Ireland expect increased interest in the petrol engines.

Manual or automatic (Steptronic or Tiptronic depending on engine) gearboxes will feature, as will quattro all-wheel-drive versions. Electromechanical power steering makes its debut in the A5 with dynamic steering optionally available.

We also got to see the S5 version which has a new 3-litre litre turbo-charged V6 producing 354hp. Apparently a quarter of all A5 sales worldwide are of the S5 variant, though that figure is considerably lower in Ireland.

Pricing and specification will be announced later this summer, while a Sportback version will follow later in 2017. Expect a Cabriolet version in due course too.

At the unveiling at Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, they showed us a selection of its coupés from the past including the quite beautiful DKW Monza and Audi Union 1000 SP Coupé from the 1950s, the iconic Quattro from the eighties, and the first generation TT.

A proud heritage, no doubt, and one they will be keen to continue with the new A5.

Indo Motoring

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