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A5 gets more grunt and a lot less puff in refit

CARLSBERG don't do mid-life refits, but if they did . . . they still wouldn't have a patch on Audi.

Nope, the boys who proudly wear the Vorsprung Durch Technik badge also sport the biggest cojones in the automotive industry.

And you'd need them too because their brief was to make the mega successful A5 range even better.

Their army of uber engineers took the A5 apart bolt-by-bolt and painstakingly rebuilt it to make it leaner, meaner and a hell of a lot greener.

The line-up (Sportback, Coupe and Cabriolet) is not only improved outside and inside - they also get three new power plants straight out of the A6.

The only thing you'll be getting less of is CO2 which sees the Irish engines reduce their puff by 11pc and as much as 18pc in some cases.

What you'll get more of is grunt - squeezing extra power from the 1.8 litre TFSi petrol (170 bhp hitting 0-100kph in just 8 secs) and a punchier 2.0 litre TDi (177 bhp).

The petrol has emissions of just 134g/km which translates into road tax of just €156 a year while returning just over 40mpg.


It's even better news for the oil burning 2.0 litre TDI (Coupe) which keeps its cough down to 120g/km - residing in Band A with €104 a year tax and over 50mpg.

The petrol is a true revelation - the drive was exhilarating and precise, although the suspension proved a little too soft for my liking.

Thanks to the extra power and torque of the diesel the ride is firmer, steadier and the electronic steering really connects the driver to every twist and turn.

The Coupe is the dog's - a proper 2-door for the more mature, 'well-rounded' of us means you won't put your back out climbing in or out.

But it's the Sportback that'll prove Ireland's favourite because of its versatility for ever growing families.

The favourable tax band and quality ride could become a real headache for BMW who have lauded over the mid range executive saloon segment for a decade now.

Build quality and reliability are unquestionable, unlike Audi's notorious extras list, which quite frankly is, astounding.

Bluetooth will cost €250 extra if you opt not to go for the SE package, which incidentally kicks off at €2,500 while Stop/Start cruise control, air con and rear parking sensor come as standard. This just doesn't make sense.

Due in showrooms by November, prices for the A5 range start at €39,525.