Johannesburg – Audi’s all-new A5, launched in South Africa this week, sports an unashamedly evolutionary design, mostly because that’s just how Audi rolls but probably also due to the fact that its predecessor was described by its very own designer, the highly acclaimed Walter de Silva, as being the most beautiful car he’d ever created.

Nonetheless the new model's penman, Frank Lamberty, managed to infuse more attitude into its classically geometric three-box proportions, with a lower stance, swoopy new creases and a wider, flatter grille, ultimately giving the newcomer a more hunkered-down appearance. 

Despite its increased dimensions, which also result in more cabin space, the second-gen A5 is up to 60kg lighter than its predecessor.

The biggest design revolution takes place inside, where you’ll see a more horizontal dashboard design featuring a ‘floating’ 21cm colour screen, linked to a touch-pad, and those with deeper pockets can now opt for Audi’s 31.2cm ‘virtual cockpit’ instrument cluster and a 30-shade ambient lighting system. 

Other notable options include MMI navigation plus with Wi-Fi hotspot, Google Earth and Street View navigation, and wireless phone charging.

Wide range of engines

The South African engine range offers a good mix of turbo-charged four-cylinder petrol and diesel options and a potent new V6 in the S5. 

The least expensive A5, at R589 000, is the 2.0T FSI, rated at 140kW and 320Nm, and, as with all four-cylinder models, its engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch S Tronic gearbox as standard. A 185kW/370Nm version of this motor is also offered, paired with Quattro all-wheel drive. The 2.0 TDI diesel is only available in one output guise – 140kW and 400Nm – and can be ordered with front-wheel drive or Quattro AWD.

The lead dog, until the RS5 arrives, is the latest S5, and it's shoved along by a redesigned 3-litre V6 turbo that’s good for 260kW and 500Nm, up 15kW and 60Nm on its predecessor, and mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic autobox. Expect 100km/h to come up in just 4.7 seconds.

The S5’s Quattro system has a mechanical centre diff that can send up to 70 percent of the torque to the rear wheels if necessary, although only 60 percent makes its way to the back under normal driving conditions. The system is also assisted by a torque vectoring device and those seeking even sharper handling can opt for a ‘sport’ rear differential.

What standard features do I get?

The 140kW petrol and diesel base models come with automatic air conditioning, cruise control, MMI radio plus with Bluetooth, multi-function steering wheel, Audi Drive Select, indirect tyre monitoring system, seat upholstery with a mixture of real and artificial leather, Xenon plus headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels.

If you opt for the ‘Sport’ grade, you also get front sport seats, aluminium ellipse cabin inlays, 18-inch alloy wheels, bespoke grille and intake trim and chrome-tipped exhaust pipe,

The 185kW 2.0T FSI quattro adds electrically-adjustable front seats to the mix along with a rear parking aid.

Over and above all the abovementioned, the S5 gains Nappa leather trim, keyless start, Audi pre-sense, ‘S’ front seats with massage function, high-gloss package, 19-inch alloys and LED headlights.

RANGE AND PRICING

Model Power/Torque Price
Audi A5 Coupe
2.0T FSI S Tronic 140kW/320Nm R589 000
2.0T FSI Sport S Tronic 140kW/320Nm R623 000
2.0 TDI S Tronic 140kW/400Nm R619 000
2.0 TDI Sport S Tronic 140kW/400Nm R653 000
2.0 TDI Quattro S Tronic 140kW/400Nm R652 500
2.0 TDI Sport Quattro S Tronic 140kW/400Nm R686 500
2.0T FSI Quattro S Tronic 185kW/370Nm R723 500
2.0T FSI Sport Quattro S Tronic 185kW/370Nm R757 599
Audi S5 Coupe
3.0T V6 FSI Quattro 260kW/500Nm R928 000

ALTERNATIVES

Base petrol

Audi A5 2.0T FSI S Tronic 140kW/320Nm R589 000
Mercedes C200 Coupe auto 135kW/300Nm R600 726
BMW 420i Coupe auto 135kW/270Nm R615 596
Mid petrol
Mercedes C300 Coupe auto 180kW/370Nm R695 922
BMW 430i Coupe auto 185kW/350Nm R721 626
Audi A5 2.0T FSI Quattro S Tronic 185kW/370Nm R723 500
Lexus RC 200t EX 180kW/350Nm R748 900
Base diesel
Audi A5 2.0 TDI S Tronic 140kW/400Nm R619 000
Mercedes C200d Coupe auto 125kW/400Nm R643 300
BMW 420d Coupe auto 140kW/400Nm R670 300
Performance petrol
BMW 440i Coupe auto 240kW/450Nm R852 176
Audi A5 3.0T V6 FSI Quattro 260kW/500Nm R928 000
Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic auto 270kW/520Nm R935 282