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2 August 2007
Audi strikes out in yet another new direction this month with the all-new A5, a dramatically styled coupé combining four-seat practicality, 455-litre luggage capacity and a new, even more overtly driver-oriented chassis configuration incorporating the longest wheelbase ever to underpin a B-segment Audi.
UK prices for the first launch models, which opened for order in March, start from £33,430 OTR.
In a break with Audi tradition which normally dictates that the launch of the higher performance S quattro model in each range is staggered, the S5 quattro is one of the two versions spearheading the launch of the new coupé. Powered by a potent 4.2-litre V8 FSI petrol engine with 354PS, the S5 quattro is priced at £39,825 OTR.
With an overall length of 4,625mm, and a planned range of four, six and eight-cylinder longitudinally mounted petrol and diesel engines, the entirely new A5 is perfectly positioned as the latest and most advanced alternative to established German premium sector compact coupés in the B-segment.
The elegant two-door body that re-establishes Audi in territory last populated by the brand with the 80-based Coupé of 1989 is not the newcomer's only mould-breaking feature. Underpinning it is a radically different suspension arrangement that is the first to benefit not only from a new five-link front set up promoting outstanding composure at all speeds, but also from a new layout that positions the front axle further forward. This permits shorter overhangs and much improved axle load distribution, resulting in enhanced balance and handling neutrality.
At the rear, completely re-engineered trapezoidal link suspension plays its part in delivering slick sports coupe handling with an unruffled ride, and in quattro versions the latest generation rear-biased system with 40 / 60 front-to-rear torque split helps to further emphasize the advances made. The rack-and-pinion power assisted steering has also been both completely reworked.
True to form in the Audi S quattro series, specially adapted sports suspension and enhanced high performance brakes with black painted calipers safely contain the S5's power. And as usual its performance advantage is played down externally, the subtle indicators including an exclusive 'S' grille design, unique front and rear bumpers, a more pronounced bootlid spoiler, aluminium look door mirrors, a dual branch, four-pipe exhaust system and exclusive 19-inch alloy wheels.
The upgraded 3.0-litre TDI engine delivers 240PS in the A5, up from 233PS in A4, A6 and A8 models, and torque is boosted by 50Nm to 500Nm from 1,500rpm to 3,000rpm. Despite its 0-62mph time of just 5.9 seconds - which is second only to the mighty Q7 V12 TDI in the diesel performance hierarchy - the A5 3.0 TDI quattro nevertheless manages to cover up to 39.2mpg (combined cycle). It is equipped with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) as standard.
The 4.2-litre V8 FSI petrol unit reserved for the S5 quattro delivers 354PS and 440Nm of torque at 3,500rpm. It powers the new flagship to 62mph from rest in 5.1 seconds on the way to a governed top speed of 155mph, all the while revving exceptionally freely and accompanying the rich seam of power with a classic bass-heavy V8 soundtrack.
Available at Dulwich Audi
25 Dulwich Village
London SE21 7BW
0845 634 5146
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