It may not look much different to its nine-year old predecessor, but the second generation Audi A5 is, in fact, completely new from the ground up.
Let’s deal with that styling first, which Audi calls “an artfully crafted evolution.” It’s hardly adventurous, but then Audis rarely are. We will concede the new A5 is just as much of a handsome devil as the old car, and that Audi has pulled of a neat trick of combined sharp edges with flowing forms.
Underneath, the new A5 uses a bespoke version of VW Group’s MLB platform. It’s longer and wider than before and the wheelbase has been stretched too, providing a useful increase in interior and boot space.
There’s a choice of two petrol and three diesel engines from launch. Both petrol motors are 2.0-litre, four-cylinder TFSi units in 187bhp and 248bhp forms, while diesel options are a 187bhp 2.0-litre and 215bhp or 268bhp 3.0-litre V6s.
All engines up to the high-power V6 TDi come with a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel-drive as standard; seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box and quattro four-wheel-drive are optional on all. The 268bhp oil-burner comes with an eight-speed automatic ‘box and quattro as standard.
Then there’s the new S5 (the red car pictured here). It has a brand-new turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine developing 349bhp, 21bhp more than the supercharged unit in the old S5. The power is channeled through an eight-speed auto ‘box and quattro drive, giving a 0-62mph time of 4.7secs.
Across the board, Audi claims the new A5 gains as much as 17% more performance, while using up to 22% less fuel. That’s thanks to a super-slippery drag coefficient of 0.25, a weight reductions of up to 60kg.
As you would expect of an Audi, the interior is a lesson in simplistic elegance. Standard equipment levels should be quite generous, while the options list includes the Virtual Cockpit TFT instrument display, Matrix LED headlights, Bang & Olufsen stereo and internet-enabled infotainment. Not to mention a bewildering array of driver assistance features.
The new Audi A5 goes on sale towards the end of this year. Prices have yet to be announced.
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By Only Motors