The new Audi A5 has been revealed at an event at Audi’s Ingolstadt home, with the sporty two-door coupe based on the latest A4 saloon. Ahead of the big reveal, we got the chance to speak to designer Frank Lamberty, who walked us around the new model.
“The most important difference with the new A5 is the nose,” he told us, “as there is now a clear differentiation between the A4 and A5. The headlights are a little bit higher, and A4 has a sharper, cleaner look. The A5 is more of an emotional design.”
The A5’s grille is lower and wider than before, and creases that flow outwards above and below the headlights add muscle to the car’s nose. There’s a bonnet bulge too, which adds a sportier look combined with the wider air intakes and chrome detailing on the bumper for this S5 model.
The rest of the car will be familiar to owners of the current model, however, as it shares similar design cues. Lamberty told us the previous car was considered to be the designer’s “masterpiece,” and the challenge for this model was to improve that with some more subtle tweaks. There are some new creases on the sides of the A5, plus a wider-looking rear end with slimmer LED taillights. The braking light now features across the top of the rear windscreen as well.
The S5 gets a rear diffuser too, as well as the signature quad tailpipes. The RS5 model, which Lamberty tells us is already designed, will feature an even more pumped-up look with the familiar twin oval pipes at the back. “Customers want to see real exhausts at the back,” he said, referring to the rival Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe, which has set-back pipes behind a square chromed design in the bumper.
What’s using those exhausts in the S5 is a new aluminium version of Audi’s turbocharged V6, which now produces 349bhp (21bhp more than before) and 500Nm of torque. That means it goes from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than the outgoing model, and has a limited top speed of 155mph. The suspension of the whole A5 range has been tweaked, and Audi says it’s better to drive than ever.
For the rest of the range, you can choose from three diesels and one other petrol. The petrol unit is a 2.0-litre TFSI with 188bhp, while you can pick from a choice of 2.0-litre or 3.0-litre TDI diesels, with an ultra variant being the most efficient model in the range. Less weight, a more aerodynamic design and engine improvements mean efficiency improvements of up to 22 per cent (for the 3.0-litre TDI).
A manual 6-speed gearbox and a 7-speed automatic are available with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder units, while the larger 3.0-litre diesel and petrol S5 can be bought with an eight-speed tiptronic box. Both of the larger engines come with quattro all-wheel drive as standard, too, and there’s an optional rear differential and variable ratio steering.
Audi has reduced the weight of the A5 by a total of 60kg compared with the old model. Despite that, the wheelbase of the new Audi A5 is slightly longer, which means there’s more space inside, and 10 extra litres of boot space, for a new total of 465 litres. The rear seats can be folded down to create additional luggage space, too.
The main changes inside are to bring it in line with the new A4, however. The dash and seats are brought over from the A5’s saloon sibling, as well as Audi’s new Virtual Cockpit system. This allows the driver to display anything in front of them where the dials would be, using a high-res display controlled using the steering wheel buttons. Other tech on board includes an Internet connection using a SIM card, an app that can control some of the car’s functions and full smartphone connectivity.
Traffic jam assist, active lane assist, cross traffic alert and Audi’s pre-sense safety systems are all fitted to the new A5, plus traffic sign recognition and parking assist features. Extra standard kit in this car will also include a 7-inch display screen, LED ambient lighting, height-adjustable seatbelt feeds and auto city braking.
Along with this two-door coupe, Lamberty told us the A5 range will also include Sportback and Convertible body styles, just like the previous car, as well as the hot RS5 model. A plug-in hybrid model is likely on the way too, with the new A5 based on the MLB platform, which was built to support Audi’s e-tron hybrid system. Don’t expect it to appear until after 2018, however.
The A5 coupe will be out in November 2016, with the bigger-selling Sportback arriving in January 2017 and the Cabriolet coming after that in the spring. Prices haven’t been announced yet, but expect the car to cost from around the same £32,000 as the current version, with the S5 starting from around £44,000. Orders open from late summer 2016.