• 2017 Audi A5

A little bit more of everything

LISTEN 10:09

Audi initially offered the A5 Coupe in 2007, signaling its return to the segment after over a decade of sitting on the sidelines. In 2012, the German manufacturer updated the premium two-door with a mid-cycle refresh, but now, it’s time for the second generation to take the torch. Standout revisions include more efficiency thanks to a lower curb weight and improved aerodynamics, more power from the range of four- and six-cylinder engines, and an impressive catalogue of technological innovations for safety, convenience, and infotainment.

The thing is, it sort of looks as though Ingolstadt didn’t do a whole lot for this generational changeover. That said, sweeping transformations aren’t exactly Audi’s forte, and as soon as you dig under the skin, the differences start to become apparent. It starts with new bones, including an updated chassis. The tried and true powerplant lineup was tuned for more bang for your buck. There’s more space inside, and the classic Four Ring styling outside was tweaked just enough to be noticeable. All in all, the new A5 is undoubtedly worthy of its next-gen designation.

Update 6-3-2016: We’ve uploaded a new video that covers the highlights of the new Audi A5. Click play to see the video.
Continue reading to learn more about the new Audi A5.

Exterior

2017 Audi A5 High Resolution Exterior
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Aesthetically speaking, the new A5 is quite similar to its four-door sibling, the A4. And that’s a good thing – both vehicles are quite attractive, with proportions that suggest a dynamic experience behind the wheel, but don’t get in your face about it. This characteristic is doubly so for the A5, which uses the two-door layout to great effect, particularly in profile. From that angle, we see something Audi calls a “three-dimensional wave-shaped shoulder line,” which was also used on the outgoing model, and helps to emphasize the wheel arches without getting all DTM about it. In front is Audi’s characteristic “Singleframe” grille, which is now wider and flatter than before, while the headlights are sharply cut and angular. The hood line is long, while the overhangs are short.

Dimensionally, Audi says the new A5 is larger than before (roughly 2.7 inches longer). The automaker also indicated that the new look makes for a drag coefficient of just 0.25, propelling the A5 to the head of the segment when it comes to aero slipperiness.

Lighting includes LEDs for the rear, while the headlights are offered with both regular LEDs and Matrix LEDs (standard spec includes xenon elements, plus LED daytime running lights). The turn signals are dynamic.

Side-by-side comparison

2017 Audi A5
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Interior

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Like the exterior, the A5’s interior also pulls cues from the new A4. Horizontal lines abound, including a “continuous air vent strip” stretching the length of the dash. Drivers will enjoy the three-spoke, multifunction steering wheel (complete with shift paddles on models equipped with an automatic transmission), while all passengers will appreciate Audi’s typically well-executed fit and finish. Materials are all high-end, and Audi boasts that ambient noise levels are as low as ever. Customization options include a multitude of color choices, plus optional ambient lighting with a range of 30 different hues.

Along with the larger exterior dimensions, Audi says the cabin was also made larger, although specific measurements for the driver and passengers are not yet available.

As expected, the new A5 is outfitted with all the latest cabin gear Ingolstadt can muster, starting with the availability of Audi’s virtual cockpit digital instrumentation. Offered for the first time on the A5, the virtual cockpit is essentially a 12.3-inch TFT screen mounted behind the steering wheel that provides the driver with customizable information readouts. Complementing this is an 8.3-inch tablet screen mounted high on the dash (a 7-inch unit comes standard).

Control of the system is wielded via a rotary pushbutton on the central tunnel, plus a touch pad for functionality like character input and map zoom. There’s also text search, plus voice control.

Standard features include LED cabin lighting, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a USB device charger.

Customers can opt into the MMI navigation plus package, which includes an onboard SIM card that provides web access free of charge for up to three years. Separate data packages are also available if you just want the Wi-Fi hotspot (up to eight devices can connect).

Standard features include LED cabin lighting, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a USB device charger. Options include inductive smartphone charging, and a high-end Bang & Olufsen sound system. There’s also new driver assistance technology (see the Safety And Convenience section for more information).

And even though practicality isn’t really a top priority when shopping for a two-door car, Audi saw fit to up the luggage space in back, adding an additional 0.4 cubic feet for 16.4 cubic feet total. The rear bench folds into a 40:20:40 split for space optimization, while an optional foot-activated luggage switch helps when your hands are full. Funny enough, there’s also an optional trailer hitch with an electric single-button release.

Drivetrain

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The new A5 will launch in Germany with the choice of five different engine packages, including two TFSI (gasoline) options and three TDI (diesel) options. Output will range between 190 and 286 horsepower, with up to 17 percent more power and 22 percent better fuel economy.

U.S. customers, however, should expect just a single engine – the mid-range turbo four-cylinder gasoline unit producing around 255 horsepower.

Routing the muscle will be the option for either a manual six-speed or a seven-speed automatic S tronic. The range-topping diesel (Europe only) will get an eight-speed tiptronic. Both FWD and AWD will be available.

Interestingly, Audi is updating its famous quattro AWD system with something called “ultra” technology, which biases towards FWD for greater efficiency. And while initial speculation pointed towards the availability of a hybrid drivetrain, Audi has yet to confirm the rumor.

Chassis And Handling

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Per industry trends, Audi managed to cut roughly 130 pounds from the A5’s curb weight thanks to a lighter body and chassis. The new chassis also supposedly ups driving dynamics, particularly when it’s equipped with the optional damper control system.

Standard spec includes Audi drive select, which offers multiple driving modes to best suit the given driving situation. There’s also updated electromechanical power steering, which adapts feedback based on road speed, plus an optional dynamic steering ratio for even greater control.

Safety And Convenience

2017 Audi A5 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Safety and convenience is enhanced thanks to an extensive range of new or updated autonomous features. This includes a predictive efficiency assistant, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control with a Stop&Go feature, parking assist, rear cross-traffic monitor, exit warning, collision avoidance assistant, turn assist, and traffic sign recognition.

Meanwhile, the optional Audi connect and safety & service package includes auto emergency call, online roadside assistance, and Audi service request, as well as remote features through the MMI connect app, which allows smartphones, smart watches, and even Apple TV users to lock and unlock doors, start the engine, check the vehicle status, find the vehicle location, and more.

Prices

The second-generation A5 is expected to launch in the U.S. later next year, with pricing starting at around $42,000. Meanwhile, Europe will get it this fall.

Competition

BMW 4 Series Coupe

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The Bavarians offer a much livelier alternative to the A5 with the 4 Series Coupe. Engine options include a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder producing 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, as well as a turbo six-cylinder with 300 horsepower. Bimmer’s xDrive AWD system is an available option, while RWD comes as standard. Pricing starts at $41,850.

Read the full review here.

Infiniti Q60

2017 Infiniti Q60 Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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Sexy luxury coupe-ness isn’t just a German thing – Infiniti has it’s own two-door in the hunt. Power is derived from either four-cylinder making 208 horsepower, or a six-cylinder making 300 horsepower, while a range-topping 400-horsepower V-6 tops the totem pole. Unfortunately, only a seven-speed automatic is offered for cog swaps. Like the BMW, both RWD and AWD are available. Pricing starts at around $41,000.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

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Everything you’d expect, nothing more, and nothing less – that’s what you get with Audi, and the A5 stays true to this idea. Confident in the inherent quality of the original, the new model doesn’t deviate too far from the first generation, with improvements implemented only where they’re needed.

Unfortunately for Audi, the slightly higher price tag means the Japanese competition will have a slightly easier sell, but Ingolstadt should offset this by offering more standard equipment.

In the end, buyers will most likely appreciate not having to tick as many option boxes, and will still indulge in the Four Ring’s classic style.

  • Leave it
    • Limited engine options
    • Probably more expensive
    • Tough competition
    • Still a ways off until it sells in the U.S.

Updated History

Updated 02/13/2014: Car And Driver reports that the next-generation Audi A5 will be built on Volkswagen’s new MLB modular-longitudinal architecture and will include lots of aluminum to help reduce its weight by about 200 pounds. Audi will keep about two-thirds of the current’s powertrain lineup, but will add a series of new engines, including a new, 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 for the RS5 in place of the current 4.2-liter V-8.

Spy Shots

July 10, 2015 - First testing session

2017 Audi A5 Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Audi A5 Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Audi A5 Exterior Spyshots
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Jonathan Lopez
Jonathan Lopez
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