Audi has officially taken the wraps off its all-new A5 and S5 coupe.
Now in their second generation, the 2017 A5 and S5 coupe play it safe as far as looks are concerned. Just like the A4 on which they’re based, the two coupes aren’t significant visual departures from their predecessors. In fact, it’s almost as though Audi took the nose from the Prologue concept and grafted it onto the A5.
Of course, none of this is to say the A5 and S5 are unattractive. Far from it; these two coupes are still as handsome as their predecessors, but you have to look a little harder to pick out the visual differences. Along with the Prologue-inspired front fascia, the new A5 and S5 are available with new LED headlights, while the rear end has been similarly reworked with new lighting and a few more creases and folds.
Beneath the skin, the differences become more apparent. The platform has been reworked; it’s still shared with the A4, meaning the A5 drops a lot of weight, as much as 60 kilograms. The A5 will launch in Germany with five engine choices, including three diesels, ranging from 190 to 286 horsepower, and having fuel economy improved by as much as 22 per cent based on the European test cycle.
Audi hasn’t dished any details specific to North America, but expect our A5s to be all-gasoline and to use the A4’s revised two-litre turbo-four, good for 220 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. Power will likely sent to all four wheels via either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The S5 kicks things up a notch with a three-litre, turbocharged V-6, with 354 horsepower on tap — a 21-hp boost over the previous S5 — hooked up to an eight-speed automatic. Yes, it will have Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system, and Audi says it can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds. Not bad at all, but we’ll wait a little while longer to see what the RS5 will offer.
Inside, the A5 and S5 switch things up with a new dashboard layout and Audi’s incredibly crisp Virtual Cockpit and MMI system, complete with a central 8.3-inch display, more natural voice-recognition software and, of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The cabin is also a bit more practical, offering 40/20/40-split folding rear seats and 465 litres of cargo space. It even features optional LED accent lighting with 30 different shades.
Expect Audi to dish more details specific to North American-spec models in the near future. You won’t be waiting long to find out how it drives, either. We’ll be putting the new A5 and S5 through their paces in just under two weeks.
— Postmedia Network Inc. 2016