As the cheapest coupe Audi sells, the A5 is designed to bring a seductive two-door into an affordable price bracket. Now Audi looks to add even more value to that bargain basement price with its new “ultra” line of TDI equipped cars.
The Volkswagen family of turbocharged diesel engines are already some of the best when it comes to balancing fuel economy and performance, so it makes sense to see that expertise leveraged. The new ultra models are equipped with a new 2.0-liter TDI engine that is available in three levels of power output: 136 horsepower, 163 horsepower and 190 horsepower.
If those numbers seem low, don’t worry. These engines pack tons of torque, so at lower speeds they still have plenty of thrust.
The A5 Ultra comes powered exclusively by the 163-horsepower version of this new engine. This engine configuration lays out an absurd 295 pound-feet of twist, and it is sold with a special six-speed manual transmission with taller final gears for improved economy. Audi is claiming a fuel economy rating 56 mpg combined on the EU scale, and top speed sits at 140 mph.
As you can probably guess from the manual-only designation, this car is not currently slated for a U.S. release. We reached out to Audi on the possibility of bringing the “ultra” models to U.S. shores, and John Shilling, Manager of Product Communications at Audi, said there are "No plans in the U.S. for that version at this time."
Click past the jump to read about the standard Audi A5.
The Audi A5 family of cars is Audi’s entry level coupe. With engine options ranging from a 2.0-liter turbo with 220 horsepower in the base A5 all the way to a 450 horsepower V-8 in the sportier RS5 variant, Audi provides a solid assortment of choices. Like most Audis, quattro AWD is standard on all trims.
On sale since 2007, and updated for the 2013 model year, the A5 is one of the newest product lines in the Audi lineup.
The A5 is also the base platform for Audi’s Cabriolet lineup. With prices starting at $39,000 the A5 is the fourth cheapest Audi you can buy after the A3, A4 and Q5.
Audi is expanding its ultra strategy with 11 new models: Especially efficient engine versions in the A4, A5 and A6 model lines will be launched in early 2014. A new and powerful two-liter TDI will provide the drive at 100 kW (136 hp), 120 kW (163 hp) or 140 kW (190 hp); the engine emits just 104 to 119 grams of CO2 per kilometer (167.37 to 191.51 g/mile) depending on the model.
The “ultra” designation stands for sustainable mobility that is fully available for everyday use. With a combined fuel consumption rate of 3.9 to 4.6 liters per 100 kilometers (60.31 to 51.13 US mpg) and CO2 emissions of 104 to 119 grams per kilometer (167.37 to 191.51 g/mile), the new ultra models from Audi are among the most efficient cars of their segment – without any limitation on the driving dynamics or customary comfort.
Audi Board Member for Development, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg: “The latest TDI technology, ultra-efficient transmissions, advanced exhaust aftertreatment – customers will hardly see anything, but they’ll notice the effects of powerful acceleration and, thanks to extremely low fuel consumption, when paying at the gas station. The Audi ultra models score points with big advantages for everyday operation – just what customers appreciate.”
The A4, A5 and A6 families come with the 2.0 TDI. Newly developed in many areas, it affords exemplary efficiency and power. The high torque (320 or 400 Nm [236.02 or 295.02 lb-ft]) ensures sporty power generation even at low engine speeds, along with low fuel consumption.
Audi Head of Powertrain Development, Dr. Stefan Knirsch: “An innovative, highly efficient SCR system removes nitrogen oxides from the exhaust. This measure means that the new ultra models will of course meet the future Euro 6 emission standards while achieving lower fuel consumption.”
Standard on the ultra models is a manual transmission that makes the gear ratio somewhat taller in the upper gears. Optional on the A6 is an innovative seven-speed S tronic that further reduces the average consumption rate to 4.4 liters per 100 kilometers (53.46 US mpg) with 4.6 liters on the Avant (51.13 US mpg). This corresponds to a CO2 emission of only 114 grams per kilometer (183.47 g/mile) and 119 grams (191.51 g/mile) for the Avant. This completely redesigned dual-clutch transmission launches a new generation, distinguished by high efficiency as well as by especially fast and comfortable gear changing. The innovations include minimized internal friction, highly efficient oil supply and a centrifugal pendulum-type absorber that counteracts undesirable vibrations and allows low-noise driving at very low engine speeds. A harmonious gradation of the gears in interplay with the wide spread provides comfortable driving. The seven-speed S tronic as well as the six-speed manual transmission conducts the power to the front wheels.
The standard start-stop system and the driver information system with efficiency program make an important contribution to the economy of the new ultra models from Audi. On the A4 and A4 Avant, modifications of details in the aerodynamics and a lowered body also optimize the fuel consumption.
This combination of efficiency measures yields trend-setting consumption and emission figures: from only 3.9 l/100 km (104 g/km) [60.31 US mpg / 167.37 g/mile] for the A4 Sedan (100 kW), 4.2 l/100 km (109 g/km) [56.00 US mpg / 175.42 g/mile] for the A4 Avant (100 kW) and A5 Coupé (120 kW) and 4.3 l/100 km (111 g/km) [54.70 US mpg / 178.64 g/mile] for the A5 Sportback (120 kW). The A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI ultra with 100 kW of power will follow a bit later. With no restrictions on equipment, the A6 2.0 TDI ultra achieves the especially low CO2 emission level of 114 g/km (183.47 g/mile) with 117 g/km (188.29 g/mile) with manual transmission. Per 100 kilometers it consumes on average 4.4 liters of fuel (53.46 US mpg) and 4.5 liters (52.27 US mpg) with manual transmission. Its Avant sister model manages with 4.6 l/100 km (51.13 US mpg) with 119 g/km (191.51 g/mile), irrespective of the transmission.
The new ultra models will go on sale successively from the first quarter of 2014. The 100 kW version of the A4 starts at €32,600, the A4 Avant at €34,250. With a 120 kW engine, prices for the A4 begin at €34,700, for the A4 Avant at €36,350. The A5 Sportback is available for €37,350 and the A5 Coupé for €38,150. The A6 is priced at €39,900, the A6 Avant at €42,250; the prices for both model versions with S tronic is €2,250 more.
The ultra range from Audi also includes the A3 1.6 TDI ultra, that had its debut as the first ultra model in fall 2013. It consumes on average just 3.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (85 grams of CO2 per kilometer) [73.50 US mpg / 136.79 g/mile]. All ultra models are visually identifiable by the discreet lettering at the rear.