By: IOL Motoring Staff
Ingolstadt, Germany – Audi’s new A5 and S5 Coupés, announced this week in Germany and due in South Africa in the first quarter of 2017, are longer, lower, distinctly sleeker and 60kg lighter than their predecessors – but they retain the sweeping C pillar that is one of the most beautiful lines in automotive design history.
The extra length is mostly in the wheelbase, making the new Fives roomier inside and keeping their overhangs short, while the long bonnet line has been smoothed out even more than before and the single-frame grille becomes wider and flatter.
But it’s not all about looks; according to Audi’s design team, the new body is significantly more slippery than its predecessor, with a claimed drag coefficient of only 0.25.
Spoiled for engine choice
The A5/S5 will be available in Europe with a choice of two turbopetrol and three turbodiesel engines, their outputs ranging from 140kW to 260kW, each with its own tailor-made drive train set-up.
The two-litre, four-cylinder variants, and the lower-spec 160kW three-litre V6 TDI, come with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed S tronic transmission, in either front or all-wheel drive.
The higher spec 210kW V6 turbodiesel and the S5’s all-new 260kW 2995cc TFSI V6 turbopetrol (good for 0-100 in a claimed 4.7 seconds!) are each mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic and standard quattro all-wheel drive, with a rear-axle limited-slip sport differential as an option.
The new ‘ultra technology’ on-demand quattro drive, first seen on the A4 allroad 2.0 TFSI, will be available on A5 variants with four-cylinder engines and manual ‘box – and Audi’s test drivers say you won’t feel the difference between that and the conventional permanent all-wheel drives.
The Coupés’ electromechanical power steering has been tightened up for more accurate feedback; variable-ratio dynamic steering remains an option, as does adaptive suspension, integrated into the drive select control system.
Audi has made good use of the extra volume with more front and rear legroom, as well as 10 litres more boot space (it’s now 465 litres) while upping the wow factor on the flight deck with the first virtual cockpit - a 31cm colour display with a resolution of 1440 x 540 pixels - to be offered (albeit as an extra-cost option) in this model.
There’s also LED interior lighting and an 18cm MMI colour infotainment display in the centre stack or, in conjunction with the MMI navigation option, a 21cm infotainment monitor linked to a rotary MMI pushbutton with a touch pad on its surface that can read swipe and pinch gestures as well as handwritten characters.
The A5’s Audi connect package includes remote control of functions such as locking and in locking the car, checking its status and even finding where you’ve parked it, with the MMI app on your smartphone, smartwatch or even your TV, if you’ve got Apple TV 4.0.
The onboard system is compatible with both Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and an inductive smartphone charging system is also available.
Nearly all the systems are either new or revised, including adaptive cruise control that works right down to a dead stop in heavy traffic, active lane-keeping and pre-sense to help the car brace for impact.
New features include rear cross-traffic warning, exit warning, collision avoidance assist, turn assist and camera-based traffic sign recognition – although not all of these may be available in South Africa; the specifications for this model have yet to be finalised. Local pricing, model line-up and features, says Audi SA, will be announced closer to launch.
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