Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006

Audi A5


Audi has revised its A5 range and the 2.0 TDI model now achieves 60.1 mpg along with emissions of just 122 g/km CO2.

There’s also a 204 PS version of the 3.0-litre V6 TDI which can deliver up to 57.6 mpg with just 129 g/km of CO2.

In fact CO2 emissions are reduced by an average of 22% across the new Audi A5 and S5 Sportback, Coupe and Cabriolet range.

This is thanks to new and heavily revised engines and additional efficiency measures.

UK orders for the new A5 and S5 models, which will be priced from £25,540, can be taken from September, ahead of first deliveries in December.

The key objective in updating the three ranges was to deliver major gains in efficiency without compromising on performance.

This has been achieved primarily by introducing two new engines and completely redesigning others, but also by extending engine start-stop technology right across the range and replacing the hydraulic power steering system with a new electromechanical unit that demands no engine input when the wheel is in the straight-ahead position.

In realigning the engine range, Audi has remained true to its philosophy of using forced induction to compensate for cubic capacity in the interest of economy. The existing naturally aspirated 3.2-litre V6 petrol engine has been replaced by a new 272PS version of the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 unit in A5 Coupe and Cabriolet variants. The existing 333PS version of this engine, which already powers the S5 Sportback and S5 Cabriolet, will also now replace the 4.2-litre, naturally aspirated V8 in the S5 Coupe.

Equipped with its new and 20 per cent more efficient engine, and with standard S tronic twin clutch transmission in common with its Sportback and Cabriolet counterparts, the S5 Coupe can accelerate to 62mph from rest in 4.9 seconds – a 0.2-second improvement over its V8-powered predecessor – on the way to a governed 155 mph top speed. Combined fuel economy stands at 34.9 mpg, a significant improvement over the tiptronic V8 Coupe’s 26.4mpg.

The entry level 1.8-litre TFSI unit, which will be available across the ranges, has been completely redesigned. It features ground-breaking innovations in many areas, including control of the valves and their lift, thermal management, fuel injection, turbocharging and the integration of the exhaust manifold. With power increased from 160 PS to 170 PS, it effectively replaces the 180 PS version of the four-cylinder 2.0-litre TFSI engine, and in the A5 Coupe combines best-in-class 49.6 mpg economy potential with a 21 per cent reduction in CO2 output to 134 g/km CO2.

The four-cylinder, 2.0-litre TFSI engine continues in 211 PS form in all variants, offering up to 44.1 mpg and CO2 emissions of 149 g/km.

New to the diesel-powered line-up is the 204 PS version of the 3.0-litre V6 TDI. Replacing the outgoing 2.7-litre, 190 PS V6 TDI, it can deliver up to 57.6 mpg with just 129 g/km of CO2 in the front-wheel-drive A5 Coupe. The existing 3.0-litre TDI unit which works in conjunction with quattro all-wheel-drive also continues in upgraded 245 PS form.

The heavily modified 2.0-litre TDI, with the potential for up to 60.1 mpg and emissions of just 122 g/km in the manual transmission A5 2.0 TDI Coupe, sets new standards in the class.

As before, six-speed manual, seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch and eight-speed multitronic CVT transmissions will feature depending on the engine chosen, as will quattro all-wheel-drive. The 2012 Model Year A5 ranges upgrade to the latest system combining the crown gear centre differential – first seen in the RS 5 – with torque vectoring for even more effective torque distribution. The quattro system is offered as an optional extra for the 2.0-litre TFSI 211 PS petrol and 2.0-litre TDI 177PS units, and as standard in conjunction with 3.0-litre TFSI 272 PS and 3.0-litre TDI 245 PS engines. As is always the case, the S models are quattro-equipped by definition.

Availability of the quattro rear sports differential, which further enhances agility and adjustability by enabling torque to be apportioned between the rear wheels, also now extends to all quattro-equipped models in the latest ranges.

All of the latest A5 models have revisions to the predominantly aluminium lightweight suspension, and most notably to the damper settings and rear suspension bearings.

Drivers can specify the Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, which in its standard form allows them to fine-tune the amount of power steering assistance, the response of the throttle and the automatic transmission’s shift points. In its latest form, the system adds a fourth ‘Efficiency’ option to its settings list, which originally offered ‘Comfort’, ‘Auto’ and ‘Dynamic’ modes. In the Efficiency mode, all the above functions, plus the air conditioning unit, are configured for minimal power consumption.

If optional satellite navigation is fitted, Audi drive select also incorporates a fifth ‘Individual’ setting which allows even more precise tailoring of the various elements to suit personal preferences. For the ultimate in driver control, it will also be possible to specify additional ‘modules’ that add adjustable damping, variable ratio dynamic steering and the ability to fine-tune the sensitivity of the sport differential.

There has also been gentle re-shaping of the bumpers, grilles, bonnets and front and rear light clusters, which brings the A5 look subtly into line with the very latest Audi design language. The changes are particularly apparent in S line models, which now feature LED strip daytime running lights that virtually surround the headlight unit at the front, and newly designed LED strip lights at the rear. This striking light set-up can also be specified for all other versions at extra cost as part of a package that also includes adaptive swivelling headlights for improved corner illumination.

Standard, SE and S line specification levels continue as before in Cabriolet and Sportback models, the latter now offering the extra cost option of three full seatbelts in the rear as an alternative to the existing two. The A5 Coupe previously offered a fourth Sport trim option, but now moves into line with its relatives.

A new option available is a high specification mobile phone interface offering online services, which not only brings a Google-powered Points of Interest search and navigation using Google Earth images, but also creates a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) hotspot within the A5 enabling occupants to connect phones and computers to the internet wirelessly.