Redrawn lines, renewed technology and a revised engine line-up underpinned by the latest efficiency upgrades – the Audi A5 Sportback, A5 Coupé and A5 Cabriolet are moving into step with their close relatives in the A4 range with a new look, new mild hybrid drivetrains and the latest MMI touch operating concept.
At the top of the Coupe and Sportback ranks new S5 variants also come on stream using TDI power for the first time and combining this with an electric powered compressor and mild hybrid drive based around a 48-volt main electrical system.
The exterior of the Audi A5 has been significantly revised, with the front end, in particular, delivering considerably more visual impact. A bold blade forms the lower edge of the bumper, which features larger air inlets. A new sill provides for a slimmer appearance when viewed from the side, while at the rear a diffuser insert with trapezoidal tailpipes makes the car appear wider.
Drivers will have a choice of 12 paint finishes for their A5, including the new shade district green, metallic, and all body and engine variants in the A5 product line will roll off the assembly line with LED headlights as standard equipment. Audi will also offer Matrix LED headlights and Matrix LED headlights with laser light and dynamic light sequencing, both combined with dynamic front and rear indicators, depending on version.
The large MMI touch display, the control centre of the new operating system, is the focal point of the instrument panel and angled slightly toward the driver. It offers a user experience similar to a contemporary smartphone via a 10.1-inch touch display with acoustic feedback which replaces the rotary pushbutton used in previous models, and it also responds via natural-language voice control.
Audi connect infotainment services are installed on an upgradable three-month subscription basis, bringing numerous web-based features such as up-to-the-minute news, Google Earth mapping and Street View and flight, weather, traffic and fuel pricing information. The Audi connect plus portfolio includes a host of additional Car-to-X services taking advantage of the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet. They include online traffic sign and hazard information, an on-street parking search function.
The all-digital Audi virtual cockpit plus is another standard feature of the latest UK A5 models that underscores their impressive technological emphasis. The driver can operate the 12.3-inch display with full HD resolution using the multifunction steering wheel with a choice of three views. A head-up display that projects important information into the driver’s direct field of view is also optionally available.
The updated Audi A5 models will be available in Europe with a range of TFSI and TDI engines with outputs ranging from 163PS to 347PS. All engines satisfy the limits of the Euro 6d-temp emissions standard.
At market introduction, four A5 engine variants will be equipped with a mild hybrid system (MHEV) which recovers energy during deceleration and stores this in a compact lithium-ion battery. With the four-cylinder engines, the MHEV system is integrated into the 12-volt electrical system, while the S TDI models use a new 48-volt main electrical system. In the S5 TDI, for example, Audi measurements indicate that this electrification can reduce fuel consumption in everyday operation by up to 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres by means of recuperation or shutting down the engine when the driver lifts off of the accelerator. The start-stop range also now begins at speeds of 13mph and below, contributing to these savings, while restarts are quicker and smoother.
All A5 models are equipped with an automatic transmission, either a seven-speed S tronic or an eight-speed tiptronic. The three most powerful engines in the range work with quattro drive as standard and the system is also available as an option for the mid-range units.
The V6 diesel engine offers 700 Nm of torque and output of 347PS as its headline figures, available in the Audi S5 Sportback and S5 Coupé. The 3.0 TDI offers pulling power, impressive refinement and long range capability, thanks in part to its MHEV system and the electric powered compressor, which supports the turbocharger. Both S TDI models accelerate from 0 to 62mph in under 5 seconds and can touch an electronically limited top speed of 155mph where conditions allow.
An eight-speed tiptronic and permanent quattro all-wheel drive transfer the power in the S5 Sportback and S5 Coupé, They also have a host of design details that point to the unique position of the S TDI models – from the four round exhaust tailpipes to the S mode in the standard Audi virtual cockpit.
Like every open-top Audi, the A5 Cabriolet has a classic fabric top. It is an acoustic hood and opens fully automatically in 15 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph. Targeted reinforcements provide for a highly rigid body. With the top up, the boot of the four-seater has a volume of 370 litres with the split rear seat backs in place.