With most Audis these days, it’s not a question of “if”, but just “how much” their exterior design is reminiscent of the cars they replace, and in the case of the otherwise all-new A5, the answer is almost confusingly too much.
Now, we’re not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’re among those who are extremely fond of the original and admittedly elegant A5 Coupe that was presented nine years ago in 2007, and which, Audi former design boss, Walter de Silva, has always described as his ‘masterpiece’.
If you belong in this camp, then you’ll probably appreciate Audi’s near-facelift like approach with the exterior of the 2017 A5 and S5 Coupe duo. Unless you delve into details such as the pinched belt-line that’s more swelled around the wheel arches, door mounted mirrors and fender trims, the only other way to easily tell them apart from the outgoing models is the front end with the much lower and wider grille and bulged bonnet with added creases.
On the other hand, if you’re the type who thinks that an automaker should renew their designs with every model change – let alone after nine years, then you might want to move along, but before you do, you may want to take a look inside the new A5/S5’s cabin.
You see, if there’s one thing you can’t fault Audi for is having stale interior designs. Yes, the dashboard is identical to the latest A4, but that’s because the A5 is in essence, the coupe version of the family, just like BMW’s 4-Series and Mercedes’ C-Class Coupe are the two-door interpretations of the 3-Series and C-Class sedan respectively, so that’s to be expected. Otherwise, the cabin has been thoroughly renewed over the previous A5/S5.
For the past couple of decades, Audi has made some of the best interiors in the business and the A5/S5 continues this tradition, blending a Teutonic design with the latest gizmos in the industry and understated yet high quality decoration. Easily, the biggest highlight of the new layered dash is the available Virtual Cockpit display featuring a 12.3-inch TFT display with a resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels. You also get a more simplified and uncluttered center console along with a bit more legroom due to the 12mm (0.5 inches) longer wheelbase and 10 liters (0.4 cu ft) of extra luggage space at 465 liters (16.4 cu ft) over the previous model.
What else is new about the new A5/S5 series? Well, among many other things you can’t see, it’s based on the German group’s lighter yet slightly bigger MLB platform that helps shave 60kg or 132 pounds, it gets a newly developed electromechanical power steering, while Audi is promising significant efficiency gains from the latest powertrains that are currently topped off by the S5’s 349hp (354PS) turbocharged 3.0L V6.
After taking a first look, do you think that the undeniably familiar exterior design is a pro or a con here and what’s your overall impression of Audi’s new coupe?