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Driven: Shapelier Audi A5 Coupe sharpens up
Lower pricing, higher spec and leaner range underpin complete Audi A5 redesign
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24 Mar 2017
AUDI Australia has launched the first wave of its second-generation A5 range in two-door Coupe guise, offering fewer variants than before and no manual option, but with upgrades to equipment, performance, economy, space, practicality and safety.
While the $69,900 before on-roads starting price for the base A5 Coupe front-drive 2.0 TFSI automatic is $1000 more than its less-powerful 1.8-litre predecessor, Audi says there is about $10,000 worth of additional specification.
The sole diesel 2.0 TDI lifts the price to $73,900, while the sportier 2.0 TFSI Quattro variant is offered from $81,500.
In the case of the performance-focused S5 Coupe, the price plummets by $16,816 to $105,800.
Almost nothing is shared with the outgoing A5/S5 coupes, even though the styling is a deliberately subtle evolution of former design chief Walter de Silva’s 2007 original.
Weight is down between 40kg (A5) and 60kg (S5), due in part to an increase in the use of aluminium and ultra high-strength steel.
Length and wheelbase extend by 47mm to 4673mm and 13mm to 2764mm respectively over the outgoing model, but height and width contract by 1mm and 8mm respectively.
Key visual changes include a clamshell bonnet (as per the A4) but with a ‘power dome’ raised section, flatter and wider grille, all LED lighting (with four squared off elements that are meant to evoke the game-changing 1980 Quattro), more pronounced side creases, door-mounted exterior mirrors and horizontal tail-lights.
Detailed aerodynamic treatments see the drag co-efficiency rating drop to 0.27Cd on the best of the Australian-delivered models. Some Euro variants are as low as 0.25Cd.
More space has been liberated inside, with the two-person rear seat gaining 23mm extra legroom and a 6mm headroom boost.
Horizontal elements abound to help create a greater sense of space, according to the car-maker.
Audi’s popular Virtual Cockpit multi-configurable digitised instrument panel (bringing a 12.3-inch high-res colour display in place of the regular analogue dials) is standard on all locally bound cars.
The new-gen A5 now features height-adjustable front seatbelts with an extendable arm should occupants have issues reaching around, and the newly 40:20:40 split rear seat opens up to a 10-litre larger boot (at 465L), which Audi says is the largest in its segment.
Other advancements include a revised MMI central controller interfacing with a tablet-style central screen, tri-zone climate control with dash-wide outlets and LCD readouts set within the knobs metallic rocker switches and the use of acoustic windscreen material.
Based on the existing A4 sedan, the A5 Coupe employs the Volkswagen Group’s MLB (Modular Longitudinal matrix) platform, but sits on a 56mm shorter wheelbase than the donor car.
Suspension on both axles is a variation of the latter’s five-link independent setup, with a lower-riding sports suspension and adaptive dampers on offer at extra cost. An electromechanical power steering system has been developed, with a variable-ratio ‘dynamic’ setup also available on some variants.
For now, all A5s employ 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol, seven-speed ‘S tronic’ dual-clutch powertrains with upgraded idle-stop tech, while the S5 uses a new 3.0-litre V6 petrol and eight-speed ‘Tiptronic’ torque-converter auto combo. All are Euro 6-emission capable.
Tipping the scales at 1495kg, the EA888 unit in the front-drive 2.0 TFSI S tronic delivers 140kW from 4200-6000rpm and 320Nm between 1450-4200rpm.
This results in a 7.3-second sprint from zero to 100km/h, a 240km/h top speed, a fuel use figure of 5.5 litres per 100km, and 125g/km of carbon dioxide emissions.
The more powerful Quattro version that is expected to be the best-seller adds 80kg, sips 6.5L/100km, emits 149g/km and ups the ante with 185kW from 5000-6000rpm and 370Nm from 1600-4500rpm. This is enough to slash the 0-100km/h time by 1.5s to 5.8s on the way to a speed-limited 250km/h.
The 1640kg 2.0 TDI Quattro’s direct-injection common-rail single-turbo engine pumps out 140kW between 3800-4200rpm and 400Nm from 1750-3000rpm, for a 4.6L/100km combined average fuel figure and 121g/km on the green ledger, while 0-100km/h is 7.2s and top speed is 235km/h. Audi’s claims its S5 Coupe – the A5 flagship until the smoking RS5 arrives late this year – is as fast as the previous RS4 Avant.
The 1690kg S5 uses a 3.0-litre V6 turbo boasting 260kW (up 15kW) between 5400-6400rpm and 500Nm (up 60Nm) from 1370-4500rpm, for a 4.7s streak to 100km/h, 7.5L/100km fuel use and a 171g/km CO2 rating.
At 172kg, the engine itself has shed 14kg as well as its old supercharger, and now features a new 90-degree V-configuration with the turbo in between, a revised combustion process, an integrated exhaust manifold, and an innovative thermal management system.
The S5’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system comes with a self-locking centre diff, and in normal mode sends 60 per cent of torque to the rear it can redirect up to 85 per cent rearwards and 70 per cent frontwards as traction requirements dictate.
Adaptive dampers, specific suspension tuning, a big brake upgrade (six-piston callipers and 350mm vented front discs/two-piston callipers clamping on 330mm rear discs) and an available Quattro sport differential complete the performance picture.
On all A5s, driver-assist tech also takes a sizeable leap forward.
There’s Adaptive Cruise Control with intelligent coasting and Traffic Jam Assist to see and actively steer the car at speeds up to 65km/h, a free wheeling mode to save fuel, rear cross-traffic alert with braking, (driver) exit warning to reduce the incidents of dooring cyclists and automatic self-parking.
The A5 range also includes Audi Pre Sense tech with Pre Sense rear that rapidly strobes the tail-lights to warn drivers behind, turn assist that brakes to stop a turning Audi cross into oncoming traffic, and lane departure warning with optional ‘gentle steer’ help. The A5 scores a five-star ANCAP crash-test rating.
Standard features include multi-collision braking, blind spot warning, Audi pre-sense basic (with belt tensioning, window closing and other preventative measures in an emergency), front and rear sensors, rearview camera, 18-inch alloys, LED headlights with ‘adaptive function’ and dynamic rear indicators, Virtual Cockpit, digital radio, navigation, music storage and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
The A5 also gains leather trim, electrically adjustable sports front seats, tri-zone climate control, belt feeder with height adjustment, LED ambient lighting, Drive Select dynamic chassis system (but not adaptive dampers), and a space-saver spare wheel.
Finally, Audi is counting on a big packages uptake. These are theS Line Style from $2900 (bringing S Line bumpers, bodykit, privacy, illuminating sills) S Line Sport (that then adds Nappa leather, black headlining, stainless steel pedals, and a sports wheel from $5900), and the Technik (from $5600 for a head-up display, upgraded audio, and Matrix headlights). The latter, features dozens of LEDs for step-up night-time illumination.
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