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Audi reveals new tech-laden A5 coupe

A5tonishing: Audi’s new-generation A5 will ride on a new platform which saves weight to increase efficiency and performance.

Next-gen Audi A5 surfaces with updated technology and design for 2017 release


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3 Jun 2016

AUDI has detailed completely redesigned, lighter and more fuel-efficient second-generation A5 coupe that will roll into Australian showrooms in the first half of 2017.

Unsurprisingly, the next-generation A5 shares close visual ties to its A4 relative – both are built on the same VW Group MLB2 platform and feature the same front-end styling – albeit without the rear doors and a more pronounced hip line.

The long bonnet, stretched wheelbase and short overhangs, along with new LED tail-lights, also give the all-new A5 an even sportier stance and, when released, will go head-to-head against other luxury two-door coupes including the BMW 4 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, Infiniti Q60 and Lexus RC.

Audi has also put the new A5 on a diet, shedding up to 60kg from the kerb weight, and increasing aerodynamic efficiency with a drag coefficient of 0.25, making it the slipperiest car in its class. Rival luxury coupes BMW 4 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and Lexus RC feature drag coefficients of 0.28, 0.26 and 0.30 respectively.

Internationally, Audi will offer a choice of five engines – two TFSI petrol and three TDI diesel units – and either a six-speed manual, seven-speed automatic or eight-speed tiptronic transmission in its A5 range, as well as a spicy 206kW/500Nm 3.0-litre TFSI turbo-petrol V6 engine for its range-topping S5.

Engine output ranges from 140kW to 210kW in the A5 line-up which, according to Audi, will “offer up to 17 per cent more performance while consuming as much as 22 per cent less fuel”.

Although the 2017 local A5 launch is still too far away to confirm Australian specification details and engine options, Audi Australia recently launched its new A4 range in February with slimmed down engine choices including an entry-level 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre TFSI, 140kW/320Nm 2.0-litre TFSI, 185kW/370Nm 2.0-litre TFSI quattro and a 140kW/400Nm TDI diesel.

Audi Australia senior product communications executive Shaun Cleary said the German car-maker would take the opportunity to consider any and all A5 engine choices available.

“I think given that the A5 is in its second-generation and given it’s an all-new car, we’ll certainly take the opportunity to have a complete look at the new model line-up that’s offered in terms of engines that are available to us,” he said.

“So we’ll take a fresh look at it, but at this stage the line-up isn’t confirmed.”

Audi Australia launched the local A4 without the choice of a manual transmission, choosing to pair its mid-size sedan range with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, but it remains unclear if the new A5 will retain a third-pedal option.

“It will certainly be considered and no decisions have been made yet, but we do offer the manual transmission in the A5 currently, so it’s definitely a consideration,” said Mr Cleary.

Underpinning the new car will be a new electromechanical power steering system, designed to offer varying degrees of feedback and feel depending on speed, with an option on the international car for dynamic steering, which hones steering feel even further.

Inside, the new dashboard features the use of horizontal lines to emphasise interior space while high-quality materials adorn touch-points and improved acoustics increase interior sound quality.

A new 7.0-inch colour infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and USB and Bluetooth connectivity will come as standard and is controlled by a central round rotary push-button and a large touchpad with multi-finger gesture controls.

Audi will offer the option of its virtual cockpit, replacing vehicle instrumentation with a 12.3-inch TFT display incorporating speedometer and tachometer, GPS, audio, vehicle and phone information.

Other options include a Bang & Olufsen sound system, ambient lighting highlights with a choice of 30 colours, Qi standard wireless smartphone charger and the Audi connect safety and service package, giving access to emergency calls in the event of an accident, online roadside assist and vehicle controls via Audi’s connect app.

Boot space increases by 10 litres to 456 litres compared with the outgoing A5 and rear seats will employ a 40:20:40 split design.

Audi has also updated the suite of safety systems in the new A5, including active lane assist, adaptive cruise control, park assist, cross traffic assist and collision avoidance assist.

Details of Audi’s high-performing S5 also emerged, revealing sharper styling and a zero to 100km/h acceleration time of 4.7 seconds when paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Audi has not provided 0-100km/h times for the other variants.

While timing for its release is yet to be confirmed, Audi will likely launch the S5 after its initial A5 line-up is established, pushing it out to a possible late-2017 or early-2018 release.

Sales of Audi’s A5 coupe have dropped by 42.2 per cent to the end of May, with 223 vehicles sold.

The introduction of a new A5 will likely reignite sales, but Mr Cleary explained that the two-door coupe is about offering its customers a unique product, not about selling high volumes.

“The A5 has certainly got a position within our range as a style icon, its design is very well known and certainly there are customers who absolutely love the way their car looks, and that’s definitely the kind of customer that the A5 appeals to,” he said.

“Like some other recent additions to our range, like the A4 and Q7, there is a lot of new technology that will be in the new A5, and that will certainly bring a different dimension to the offering that we’re able to bring to customers when the new car arrives. We are very confident it will be another popular model.”

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