The new Audi A5
Audi has lifted the veil on the second-generation A5 coupé (pictured in silver) at a media presentation held at its Ingolstadt headquarters in Germany on Thursday evening.
On sale in the UK in November, the svelte new two-door holds few surprises. It flaunts a predictably evolutionary appearance that uses many of the stylistic elements established on its nine-year-old predecessor, albeit in a reinterpreted form that gives it a lower and more athletic look along with added precision and accuracy to its surfaces and shutlines.
Key exterior design details include a wider and lower-mounted single-frame grille, newly shaped headlights with complex LED daytime running light graphics and dynamic blinker function, a longer bonnet and larger wheelhouses with pronounced bulges similar to those that graced the manufacturer’s Ur-Quattro.
Farther back, there is a more angular glasshouse graphic, a flatter roof, more prominent shoulders with a deep swage line running the length of the flanks, pillar doors with greater structure within their lower section and sharp new tail-lights featuring a new take on Audi’s traditional LED graphics.
Audi says it did not want to stray too far from the formula of the original A5, which sold a total of 330,000 units over its lifespan, but rather wanted to make the new model "more elegant and sharper looking".
Frank Lamberty, design boss for the ‘B9 family’ says that the philosophy when designing the second-generation A5 was to: "Make it better. Sharpen it, make it more sporty and more elegant. We had a strong message with the original A5, which we wanted to keep."
Beyond its familiar appearance, the BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-class Coupé rival adopts a brand new version of Audi’s MLB platform, providing it with wider tracks, a longer wheelbase and a similar increase in size to that of its recently introduced four-door sibling, the A4.
Up to 60kg lighter than predecessor
Audi is yet to provide details of the exterior dimensions. However, Ingolstadt officials revealed that additional high-strength steel and aluminium in the body has helped to trim kerb weight by as much as 60kg over the old model. Advancements in aerodynamics have also netted an impressive drag co-efficient of 0.25.
The interior adopts a similar look that that of the latest A4, with a layered dashboard helping to visually widen the cabin and high-quality materials providing a similarly premium impression as that of the old A5.
Audi claims increased interior accommodation through the adoption of a longer wheelbase, although it is yet to go into specifics. The boot, which comes with optional gesture-control opening via foot motion, is also claimed to offer a 10-litre increase in capacity over the old model, at 465 litres. Levers in the boot can be used to lower the rear seat, which divides 40/20/40, without having to climb inside.
As with the A4, buyers get the choice of an optional virtual cockpit function, which includes a 12.3in high-definition digital instrument panel as well as the latest evolution of Audi’s MMI (Multi Media Interface) Plus infotainment system, which uses an 8.3in monitor, touch-sensitive rotary controller and LTE connectivity for up to three years free of charge via a SIM card permanently installed in the car.
Further options include the Audi smartphone interface with Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility, a wireless smartphone charging pad and a Bang and Olufsen sound system.
A choice of two petrol and three diesel engines
The A5 coupé will initially be offered with a choice of two petrol and three diesel engines. They are claimed to provide up to 17% more power and economy savings of up to 22% over the units used in the outgoing model.
Included is the latest evolution of Audi’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder EA888 petrol engine. It comes with 187bhp in high-compression guise, in which it adopts an Atkinson cycle combustion process for added fuel savings, or a gutsier 248bhp in a more conventional state of tune.
On the diesel side is an 187bhp variant of Audi’s widely used EA288 2.0-litre four-cylinder oil-burner. It lines up alongside Audi's 3.0-litre V6 diesel, which is offered with the choice of either 215bhp or 268bhp.
The four-cylinder engines and 215bhp six-cylinder diesel come as standard with a six-speed manual or optional seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox in both front and four-wheel-drive forms. The range-topping 268bhp six-cylinder diesel, which comes as standard with four wheel drive, receives an eight-speed torque converter-equipped automatic gearbox as standard.
The range-topping S5 coupé adopts a newly developed turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine. With 349bhp, it delivers 21bhp more than the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 used by the outgoing model.
The increased reserves are channelled through a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox with a Tiptronic paddleshift function and Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive system, which comes with an optional sport differential. Audi claims an official 0-62mph time of 4.7sec, which is a significant 0.7sec improvement over the old S5. Combined fuel consumption has also improved from a previous 36.7mpg to 38.7mpg.
Underpinning the new A5 coupé and its S5 coupé sibling (pictured in red) is a newly developed chassis featuring optional damper control and a variable-ratio electromechanical steering system, as seen on the A4 saloon and Avant.
Pricing for the new A5 coupé has yet to be made official. As a reference, the outgoing model starts at £29,190 for the entry-level 1.8 TFSI and extends to £43,790 for the 3.0 TFSI S5 coupé.
Additional reporting by Hilton Holloway