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Audi S5 cops shock $17K price cut

S club: Audi is expecting big things from its all-new A5 range, particularly the spicy S5 (left).

Value and performance boosts set to give Audi S5 Coupe wings against BMW and Benz

Audi logo24 Mar 2017

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

AUDI’S all-new, second-generation S5 Coupe has hit the market running with a $16,816 price drop over the preceding version, making it the least expensive yet fastest in the series’ decade-long history.

Coming hot on the heels of the A4-based S4 launched last month, which made headlines for dipping below $100,000 for the first time in its 17-year history, the B9-series A5 Coupe performance flagship – until the RS5 arrives in November – now starts at $105,800 plus on-roads, down from $122,616 for the outgoing version.

This puts the S5 squarely against the $105,615 Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic and $99,900 BMW 440i coupe equivalents. Audi has also confirmed that the A5 Sportback five-door hatch out in May will also kick off from the same amount.

According to Audi Australia product planning manager, Peter Strudwicke, the upshot should quadruple the newcomer’s slice of the A5 Coupe sales pie, especially as the claimed $10,000 of extra standard equipment actually pushes the combined value out to about $26,000 compared with the preceding S5 Coupe.

“There is no doubt we’ve managed to get a really good value proposition out of the S5, and we think it will do better as a result,” he told GoAuto at the launch of the A5 Coupe range in Hobart this week.

“It won’t overtake the 2.0 TFSI Quattro (all-wheel drive). That sits in a sweet spot with its pricing. But it will definitely improve in its mix in the A5 compared to the previous model. In the previous car it ran at about five per cent – perhaps a bit higher at the start of its lifecycle – but for this one, we’re hoping for a 15 to 20 per cent mix.

“We repositioned (the closely related A4 four-door sedan and Avant wagon derived) S4 as well last month, so it all became a part of this model offer.”

Launched in late 2007 with a 260kW 4.2-litre V8, the original S5 Coupe started at $131,900 plus on-road costs, and remained at that level when the Series II revamp and 245kW 3.0-litre supercharged V6 heart transplant arrived in 2011 that price only dipped to the $120,000 level in 2014.

Further baiting buyers is the fact that the latest S5 Coupe is faster than the outgoing RS4 Avant that cost $170,626. Weighing 60kg less before, it is powered by 260kW/500Nm 3.0-litre V6 turbo that is capable of hitting 100km/h from standstill in 4.7 seconds, on the way to a speed-limited 250km/h.

From an overall series viewpoint, Audi forecasts around 700 A5 Coupe sales annually, adding up to approximately 30 per cent of total A5 output. That puts the two-door hardtop behind the volume-selling A5 Sportback five-door hatch at 55 per cent but ahead of the A5 Cabriolet’s 15 per cent (the latest version of that lobs in during the third quarter of this year).

As before, the A5 Coupe 2.0 TFSI S tronic quattro from $81,500 is expected to snare nearly half of all buyers.

Except when they halved in their swansong year in 2016, combined annual A5/S5 Coupe and Cabriolet sales have hovered around the 650 mark since 2013, and averaged more than 1000 units since 2009.

As the hardtop outsells the soft top two-to-one, it is expected that the latest versions should crack four figures from next year.

Meanwhile, despite the decline in diesel demand over the past few years, Audi is once again offering an A5 diesel, although only in 2.0-litre TDI quattro guise this time around, with the front-driver and 3.0-litre V6 versions gone.

According to Mr Strudwicke, the thinking is that the diesel will find favour with both urban and rural consumers searching for high-mileage economy.

“We still have buyers that want to drive a diesel,” he revealed. “And it is a certain type of buyer that wants great efficiency and loves the easy driving characteristics of a diesel. But while they might do large kilometres, it’s also easy in the city with its big torque characteristics. I reckon around 10 per cent of our mix will be diesel buyers.”

However, with barely 20 units sold over the preceding B8 generation’s decade-long lifespan, not even country buyers could save the manual gearbox from extinction in the A5 Coupe range.

“The mix was so low, volume really dwindled,” Mr Strudwicke added. “We stopped the old 169kW (2.0 TFSI quattro six-speed manual) towards the end of the previous model’s life. It is not worth doing all the homologation work for just a handful of cars. I think we only sold less than 20 with the previous model.”

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