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Audi A5 and S5 (2011): the revised Coupe, Cabriolet and Sportback

Wed, 13 Jul 2011

You wait, well, days for a new Audi model, and then three come along at once. This trio are the revised A5 Sportback, Coupe and Cabriolet, and the mid-life nip ‘n’ tuck ushers in revised styling, infotainment upgrades, and new engines that reduce fuel consumption by an average of 11%.

Right then, what’s new inside and out on the new Audi A5 range?

Microscopes at the ready? So, the headlamps are slimmer (though the xenons and LED daytime running lights cost extra), the taillights have been tweaked, there’s a more sharply chiseled bonnet, plus revised bumpers which add a whole millimetre to the length of each model. 

Inside it’s all about the detail tweaks too, with the (optional) heated and vented seats now controlled by buttons rather than dials. There’s, ooh, a new key, a new knob for the automatic tranny, and a different button for the Drive Select system. There are various new trims and inlays available as well, and if you want four-door coupe looks but five-seat practicality, the A5 Sportback can now be specced with a centre rear seatbelt (and seat).


Other upgrades include tweaks to the rear dampers, new electromechanical power steering across the range (which reduces fuel consumption by 7g/km), and a Merc-style driver tiredness detector that monitors your steering motions to figure out whether you need to stop and take a nap. 

The top-line MMI system now features four rather than eight buttons, improved voice control and digital radio reception, and there’s now internet connectivity too. 

What about this boast about an 11% reduction in fuel consumption?

That’s an average, and on some models Audi claims CO2 emissions are down by as much as 22%. There are four TDI diesels and three TFSI petrol engines, and all feature forced induction, direct fuel injection and stop/start systems.

The entry level 1.8 TFSI has been completely redesigned, so power is up from 158 to 168bhp, fuel consumption improves from 39.8 to 49.6mpg, and emissions drop from 164 to 134g/km. The 2.0 TFSI still produces 208bhp, but the 3.2-litre V6 has been ditched for a detuned (268bhp) version of Audi’s supercharged 3.0 V6.

There’s one solitary four-pot diesel – a 2.0 TDI with six extra brake (now a 174bhp) but official figures of 60.1mpg and 122g/km (up from 55.4mpg and 134g/km). The rest are V6 oilers: pick from 201bhp or 241bhp for now, a low-emissions clean diesel variant will follow.

Manual, CVT multitronic and seven-speed, dual-clutch S-tronic gearboxes are offered, though their availability is dependent on whether you pick a front- or four-wheel drive model. 

And what about the V8-engined S5 Coupe? How much cleaner and more efficient is that model?

Fuel consumption improves from the mid-20s to 34.9mpg – but only because the naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 has morphed into a supercharged V6. It’s the same engine that’s already been doing business in the S5 Sportback and S5 Cabriolet. In full-blown S-guise it makes 328bhp and 324lb ft, the former figure being 28bhp down on the old naturally aspirated engine, but the greater spread of torque meaning the new car will be quicker in ‘real world’ conditions.

Beyond the visual tweaks applied inside and out to the whole of the A5 range, S models benefit from mildly massaged bodykits, and their standard Quattro drivetrains receive the latest crown-gear center differential.

Prices should only go up by a few hundred pounds across the range; UK deliveries start in December 2011.

By Ben Pulman