These are the best pictures yet of Audi’s new coupé, the A5.
The A5 is the first model to use a new platform that Audi hopes will improve the driver appeal of its cars. The all-new chassis will also form the basis of the next A4.
Compared to the layout of today’s Audis, the engine and transmission have been shifted backwards to improve weight distribution and handling. In some current Audis the engine hangs over the front axle, making the cars nose-heavy and harming steering response. The new platform is called MDS (modular design system) and will be used in all Audis with a longitudinal engine layout.
The long wheelbase and big rear window hint that the A5 will offer decent space in the rear for two adults; expect it to be a proper four-seater, rather than a 2+2.
From the proportions and shape of this development car, it seems likely the A5 will retain a lot of the Nuvolari concept’s looks. Audi has a good track record of turning its concepts into production cars, such as the original TT and the new R8 supercar.
Entry-level models will be front-wheel drive, probably powered by a 3.2-litre V6, while more expensive A5s will come with four-wheel drive and the option of a petrol V8. Expect a diesel, too, and optional DSG transmission.
The A5 goes into production next year, and we’ll see the finished article at the Geneva show. An RS5, designed to evoke the original Quattro coupé, will follow in 2008.
Watch our exclusive video of the A5 testing here.