Refreshed powertrain, new tech, and it might even come here… maybe.

Meeting customer demands means taking aim at a constantly moving target, which can often lead to some interesting crossbreeding between the established automobile segments. The Audi S5 Sportback is one good example. Offering a nice mix of attractive exterior design, practicality, luxury, and performance, the S5 Sportback appeals to a sort of “jack-of-all-trades” mentality, circumventing a singular focus in favor of a broader charm. While European audiences have enjoyed this balancing act since 2010, those of us residing in the U.S. have been left out in the cold. Now, there’s a second generation arriving, and it might actually come stateside. Maybe.

Essentially a sportier take on the A5 lineup, the S5 is offered in three body styles, with a two-door coupe and two-door convertible joining the aforementioned five-door liftback. We last saw the new S5 Sportback in camo as it braved the cold in Sweden and hit the apexes at the Nurburgring, but now, Audi has released full specs ahead of the second-gen’s public debut at the Paris Motor Show in October.

According to Autoblog, it’s still undecided whether or not Audi will be bringing this thing to U.S. shores, but either way, we’ve given it the full rundown in this review.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi S5 Sportback.

Exterior

2017 Audi S5 Sportback High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Audi S5 Sportback High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Audi S5 Sportback High Resolution Exterior
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In case you were unaware, the “Sportback” (a.k.a. liftback) body style basically boils down to four doors for passenger entry, and an elongated, fastback roofline (sort of like a four-door coupe profile), plus a large rear hatch. The hatch on the Sportback is heavily angled and flat, unlike the more vertical hatch of a wagon or hatchback. You could also call it a five-door, if you wanted.

The hatch on the Sportback is heavily angled and flat, unlike the more vertical hatch of a wagon or hatchback.

The design adds a dash of practicality to the more attractive and sporty coupe style, creating an interesting middle ground in the process. It’s an effective combination already used to great success in the U.S. by Audi’s chief rival (check the Competition section for more info).

The new S5 Sportback presents an updated look, but the differences are subtle –unsurprising, considering Audi’s proclivity for gradual aesthetic evolution. Dimensionally, the car is slightly larger than before.

Let’s start in front, where the fascia was tweaked with reshaped headlights, new corner inserts for the fog lamps, and a Singleframe grille that’s now wider and flatter. The hood line also benefits from added muscularity thanks to lengthwise creases running towards the windshield.

In profile, we find the same handsome roofline, plus a double-wave shoulder line that plumps the car’s wheel arches. The side-view mirrors are still covered in an aluminum-look finish, complemented by polished surrounds for the windows.

In back, we find lots of horizontal lines that help to emphasize the car’s visual width. Like the previous model, there’s a small lip spoiler attached to the trunk lid, but the taillights are now longer and slimmer. A diffuser was added to the bumper, trimmed in aluminum and neatly framing the quad oval exhaust tips.

The new S5 Sportback now looks bolder and badder, with crisper lines and more aggression.

While not a significant departure from the previous generation, the styling update does add to the car’s visual performance. The new S5 Sportback now looks bolder and badder, with crisper lines and more aggression. The influence of the Audi Prologue concept is obvious, and that’s a good thing.

At the same time, the car is still quite subtle in its approach, with classy details like aluminum inlays and greyed out details throughout. It’s sharper, no doubt, but it’s still very much an Audi.

Standard features include xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, and LED taillights. The wheels measure in at 19 inches in diameter.

Exterior Dimensions
Track Width (front) 1,587 mm (62.5 inches)
Track Width (rear) 1,568 mm (61.7 inches)
Body Width 1,843 mm (72.6 inches)
Height 1,384 mm (54.5 inches)
Length 4,752 mm (187.1 inches)
Wheelbase 2,825 mm (111.2 inches)
Front Overhang 883 mm (34.8 inches)
Rear Overhang 1,044 mm (41.1 inches)

Side-by-side comparison

2017 Audi S5 Sportback
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Interior

2017 Audi S5 Sportback High Resolution Interior
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2017 Audi S5 Sportback High Resolution Interior
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2017 Audi S5 Sportback High Resolution Interior
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As expected, the cabin in the new S5 Sportback takes its cues from the new A4. There are once again lots of horizontal lines, high-end materials, and a selection of cutting-edge technology.

Let’s start with the driver’s seat, where we find a three-spoke, flat-bottom, multifunction steering wheel clad in leather. Behind the wheel is Audi’s virtual cockpit display, which is essentially a 12.3-inch TFT monitor that replaces the old-school analogue needles. A heads-up display is optional, as is ambient lighting offering 30 different hues to choose from.

The cabin is handsome and functional, with less glitz and swank compared to rival products from BMW and Mercedes.

Infotainment comes courtesy of Audi’s MMI system, with 10 GB of storage, a DVD player, three free years of Audi connect services, navigation with five free updates, and a 8.3-inch display screen stuck high on the dash. Both iOS and Android smartphone integration is supported, and users will find their cell reception boosted thanks to the car’s onboard antenna. There’s also Qi wireless device charging and Bluetooth connectivity.

Per tradition, tunes come from a Bang & Olufsen stereo offering 3D sound, 755 watts of power, and 19 speakers.

The new-gen also includes extra space, with an extra 17 mm (0.7 inches) added to the cabin length. Front passengers will enjoy an extra 24 mm (0.9 inches) of knee room, plus an extra 11 mm (0.4 inches) in the shoulders. Under the rear hatch, you’ll find 480 liters (17 cubic feet) of space for luggage, which expands to 1,300 liters (45.9 cubic feet) with the rear bench folded down. If you just need a little extra space, the bench also folds in a 40:20:40 split. There’s a meter of load space, and the electric trunk lid comes with optional sensor control.

Like the car’s exterior, the cabin is handsome and functional, with less glitz and swank compared to rival products from BMW and Mercedes, even when it’s equipped with the carbon fiber trim pieces shown in these press shots. And although the rear won’t accommodate tall items like an SUV might, the S5 Sportback’s cargo capacity is actually surprisingly close to that of the Audi Q3, which offers 16.7 cubic feet with the rear seat up, and 48.2 cubic feet with the rear seat down.

Side-by-side comparison

2017 Audi S5 Sportback
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Drivetrain

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Behind its large Singleframe grille, the Audi S5 Sportback packs a new turbocharged TFSI V-6 engine. Pilfered from the recently updated S4, the new powerplant is a replacement for the old model’s 333-horsepower supercharged V-6, although displacement remains static at an even three liters.

the Audi S5 Sportback packs a new turbocharged TFSI V-6 engine. Top speed is electronically limited at 155 mph.

Output, however, jumps up to roughly 350 horsepower, while peak torque is rated at 369 pound-feet between 1,370 rpm and 4,500 rpm. Properly applied, that’s enough grunt to propel the new S5 Sportback to 62 mph in just 4.7 seconds – the same as the two-door coupe. Top speed is electronically limited at 155 mph.

Included is quattro AWD as standard, plus an eight-speed tiptronic transmission. There’s also the option for a sporty differential that helps to reduce the terminal understeer commonplace amongst high-powered AWD car.

Elsewhere in the A5 line, you’ll find a selection of gas-burning TFSI engines and diesel-burning TDI engines, but out of the lot, the turbo 3.0-liter V-6 is the one you want. There’s also a six-speed manual and seven-speed gearbox offered elsewhere, and I would have liked to see the three-pedal option for the S5 Sportback. However, if this thing does come stateside, I’d expect the drivetrain and powerplant configuration to remain unaltered from the above-stated Euro spec.

Chassis And Handling

2017 Audi S5 Sportback High Resolution Exterior
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Under the sheet metal is the Volkswagen Group’s MLB architecture, the same underpinnings used for models like the Q5, A8, Bentley Bentayga, and Porsche Macan.

In conjunction with the S5 Sportback’s lighter body (33 pounds lighter, to be exact), the model’s total curb weight is reduced to 3,241 pounds, a reduction of 187 pounds compared to the outgoing model.

Managing the mass in the corners is a newly redesigned five-link suspension set-up in front. In back, the old trapezoidal-link is tossed in favor of a complementary five-link.

And of course, the suspension settings were appropriately tuned for the performance appeal needed in a model like the S5 Sportback. Tunability is offered by way of the standard drive select handling system, which offers multiple modes for whatever the situation might be. Paired with the optional adaptive dampers, the S5 Sportback offers myriad electronic handling solutions.

Speaking of which, the car’s direction is controlled by a recently updated electromechanical steering set-up, while a variable ratio (dynamic steering) is offered an available option.

Safety And Convenience

2017 Audi S5 Sportback High Resolution Exterior
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No modern luxury car would be complete without the inclusion of the latest safety and convenience technology, and the S5 Sportback delivers with all the systems you’d expect. There’s Audi pre-sense, multi-collision braking assist, and variable speed limiter all as standard.

Other highlights include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, which automatically manages the throttle and brakes in a traffic jam and at speeds up to 40 mph. The system will even steer your car on “better roads.”

Speaking of steering, Audi is also including a collision avoidance feature, wherein the car will automatically steer around obstacles in the road, plus the car will offer “specific driving advice” on upping your efficiency, basing the advice on info pulled from the GPS and various sensors.

Rounding out the list of safety and convenience features, you’ll find turn assist, park assist, cross-traffic warning, exit warning, traffic sign recognition, and lane-keep assist.

Prices

2017 Audi S5 Sportback High Resolution Exterior
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For the moment, we don’t know if the S5 Sportback will make it to the U.S., so pricing info is obviously unavailable. However, we do know how much the car will cost overseas – 62,500 euros before options. That’s $70,244 at current exchange rates (09/07/2016), which seems a bit steep to me, but it might work with the right assortment of standard features.

Competition

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupè High Resolution Exterior
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BMW is already ahead of Audi when it comes to U.S.-spec four-door coupe liftbacks. It’s called the 4 Series Gran Coupe, and there are four trim levels to choose from. Engine options include a turbocharged four-cylinder good for 240 horsepower, as well as turbo six-cylinder making 300 horsepower. That makes the Bimmer slower, but it’s also significantly less expensive, starting at $41,650.

Read the full review here.

Mercedes-AMG C 450

2016 Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG 4MATIC High Resolution Exterior
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While not as well equipped for hauling cargo, the AMG C 450 is definitely good for hauling other things. Making the go is 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, which is sent to the pavement via a seven-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic AWD system. A sprint from standstill to 60 mph takes 4.8 seconds, which means this is the one Audi owners will need to look out for when it comes to performance activities.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

2017 Audi S5 Sportback High Resolution Exterior
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All is well with the updated S5 Sportback. The look is traditional Audi, but with a splash of aggression that’s much needed across the make’s performance-oriented lineup. The technology is on par for the price point, and the more powerful turbo V-6 makes the right amount of power to justify the car’s intentions.

The problem is we still don’t know if it’s coming to the U.S. While there’s plenty of competition in these parts to keep the S5 Sportback relegated to Europe, I think there’s also plenty of interest in something that looks this good and goes this fast. Add in the extra practicality, and I could see this thing at school drop-off in the morning, and in the canyons in the afternoon.

Stay tuned for the car’s official debut in Paris next month.

  • Leave it
    • * Might not come stateside
    • * Plenty of competition
    • * Might be too expensive
    • * Automatic gearbox the only option

Update History

Update 08/29/2016: A new video of the Audi S5 Sportback has made its way to the internet. Check out the new video in the review below.

Spy Video

As you can see from the video, the car hasn’t dropped any camo from the last photos we’ve got, but now you get to see it in action. Hear the smooth and mellow sound from the engine? An absolute delight.

Spy Shots

April 13, 2016 - Audi S5 Sportback caught testing around Nurburgring

2017 Audi S5 Sportback Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Audi S5 Sportback Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Audi S5 Sportback Exterior Spyshots
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Press Release

Blending elegant and emotive coupé design with impressive family car functionality and comfort has long been the forté of the sleek Audi A5 Sportback. Seven years and more than 340,000 units later, the 2016 Paris Motor Show will play host to the world premiere of the all-new second generation model, which further refines the ‘best of both worlds’ concept with even more tightly wrought lines, a completely new platform, the very latest engine, transmission and quattro drive developments and a host of contemporary driver assistance and infotainment systems.

Sharing the stage at Paris will be the flagship Audi S5 Sportback, which draws upon a new V6 turbocharged TFSI powerplant to deliver a hefty 354PS and 500Nm of torque from 1,370 to 4,500 rpm. From rest, it will blast past 62mph in only 4.7 seconds and can reach a limited top speed of 155mph.

Audi designers have brought together dramatic shapes and taut surfaces to update the new A5 Sportback, creating a familiar yet completely contemporary silhouette for the five-door coupé design that retains the original’s unmistakable road presence.

The stretched wheelbase, short overhangs and long, wraparound bonnet featuring a power dome emphasise the dynamism of the five-door coupé silhouette. The three-dimensional Singleframe grille is significantly flatter and wider than on the previous model.

The wave-pattern shoulder line is a key contributor to the A5 Sportback’s elegant stance. It is even more strongly accentuated than on the previous model and traces all three dimensions, creating an interplay of light and shadow. The pronounced bulges over the wheel arches underscore the quattro DNA. The rear end exhibits horizontal, equally highly precise styling. The stretched luggage compartment lid terminates with a characteristic spoiler edge.

The appearance of the new S5 Sportback follows the form of Audi S models and is subtle yet appropriately brawny. The bumper, air inlets and side sills feature distinctive contours. Many of the S-specific styling additions are painted in graduated tones of matt grey. Aluminium inlays accentuate the design inside, while the exterior mirror housings shine in an aluminium look. The rear bumper integrates a black honeycomb grille, aluminium diffuser trim and the signature four tailpipes. A spoiler lip in body colour adorns the separating edge of the luggage compartment lid.

Interior

The new Audi A5 and S5 Sportback have grown significantly inside. The interior length has gained 17mm, the shoulder room for driver and front passenger up to 11mm and the rear knee room 24mm. The sophisticated materials and colour schemes and outstanding build integrity in the interior are typical of Audi. The horizontal architecture of the instrument panel creates a sense of spaciousness. The optional ambient lighting with 30 colours to choose from always evokes a fitting interior mood.

With 480 litres of luggage capacity, the A5 Sportback rates among the best in its class. Audi also offers the option of sensor control for opening and closing the standard-fit electric luggage compartment lid.

The rear seat back splits 40:20:40 as standard. The load-area width measures exactly one metre. The rectangular-shaped layout of the 480-litre luggage compartment makes it outstanding in terms of practical use. With the rear seats folded down, it can even accommodate 1,300 litres.

Display and controls

Thanks to the all-new operating and display concept, including free-text search, the driver can control all functions effortlessly and intuitively. As an alternative to the standard-fit analogue instrument dials, the Audi virtual cockpit with its various display options brings the driver added convenience. The large, high-resolution TFT monitor (12.3 inches) presents richly detailed graphics.

The optional head-up display projects all relevant information onto the windscreen as easily comprehensible symbols and digits, thus enabling the driver to keep their eyes on the road.

Infotainment and Audi connect

Audi’s flagship infotainment version is MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. It includes such features as 10 GB of flash storage, a DVD drive, Audi connect services free of charge for three years, up to five free navigation updates and an 8.3-inch monitor with a resolution of 1,024 x 480 pixels. Audi MMI navigation plus works in close cooperation with many of the assistance and safety systems.

The Audi smartphone interface integrates iOS and Android phones in an environment specially developed for them in the MMI. The Audi phone box connects smartphones to the on-board antenna to provide superior reception quality. It also charges the smartphone inductively, without any wires, using the Qi standard. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System with innovative 3D sound opens up the spatial dimension of height and gives the driver the sense of sitting in a concert hall. Its amplifier supplies 755 watts of power to 19 loudspeakers.

Driver assistance systems

The driver assistance systems cover a wide range of functions in the new Audi A5 Sportback. An intelligent combination of different technologies enhances safety, comfort and efficiency. Meanwhile Audi is also taking the next step toward piloted driving.

Playing a central role here is the adaptive cruise control (ACC) Stop&Go system including traffic jam assist. It relieves drivers in slow-moving traffic up to a driving speed of 40mph by assuming the tasks of braking and accelerating the car, and it also temporarily takes charge of steering it on better roads.

The predictive efficiency assistant, which evaluates GPS information from the car’s immediate surroundings, helps to save fuel by giving specific driving advice – a unique feature in this segment.

Collision avoidance assist intervenes if the car needs to drive around an obstacle to avoid an accident. Based on data from the front camera, ACC and radar sensors, it computes a recommended driving line within a fraction of a second.

The lineup is rounded out by other assistance systems such as turn assist, park assist, cross traffic assist rear, exit warning, camera-based traffic sign recognition, Audi active lane assist and Audi side assist.

Suspension

The wide track and comparatively long wheelbase provide excellent foundations for composed, agile handling in the new A5 Sportback. The track width is 1,587mm at the front and 1,568mm at the rear. The wheelbase measures 2,824mm.

The front axle features redesigned five-link suspension, while a five-link construction replaces the trapezoidal-link rear suspension used previously. Specially tuned S sport suspension is fitted to the Audi S5 Sportback.

The adaptive dampers available as an option are integrated into the standard Audi drive select dynamic handling system. They make for a driving experience that is both dynamic and comfortable. The new electromechanical power steering provides better road feedback and steering precision. Also available as an option is dynamic steering, which varies its gear ratio depending on the speed and steering angle.

As standard, the A5 Sportback is fitted with 17-inch forged lightweight wheels, with a wide range of options available up to 19 inches in size. All tyres have been optimised for rolling resistance, which reduces CO2 emissions by an average of 2.8 grams per km.

Engines and drivetrain

Customers can choose between two TFSI and three TDI engine versions for the new Audi A5 Sportback. They produce between 190PS and 286PS of power. Compared with the previous model, Audi has reduced their fuel consumption by as much as 22 percent while increasing power output by up to 17 percent.

The top version of the 2.0 TFSI produces 252PS. 370 Nm (272.9 lb-ft) of torque is available between 1,600 and 4,500 rpm. It sprints from 0 to 62mph in six seconds on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. Up to 47.8mpg combined is achievable, which corresponds to 136 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

The second version of the 2.0 TFSI has an output of 190PS and 320 Nm (236.0 lb-ft) of torque available from 1,450 to 4,200 rpm. The power unit is responsive, flexible and thoroughly economical. These characteristics are the result of a new strategy: the continued development by Audi of successful engine downsizing into rightsizing. The trailblazing efficiency of the 2.0 TFSI with 190PS is the result of an innovative combustion principle. The comparatively high displacement is no handicap here – in fact, it is essential. Customers of the new Audi A5 Sportback enjoy the advantages of a small-displacement engine when driving at moderate speeds, without having to compromise when it comes to faster driving.

The four-cylinder TDI in the new Audi A5 Sportback develops 190PS and peak torque of 400 Nm (295.0 lb-ft) between 1,750 and 3,000 rpm. With quattro all-wheel drive and the seven-speed S tronic, 62mph from rest takes 7.4 seconds.

Top speed is 146mph. In combination with the seven-speed S tronic and front-wheel drive, the 2.0 TDI returns 67.3mpg combined according to the NEDC standard, a CO2 equivalent of 109 grams per km.

High and low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation and sophisticated exhaust gas treatment including an SCR system (SCR: selective catalytic reduction) work in favour of low emissions.

Audi also offers the 2.0 TDI in an ultra version which is distinguishable externally by way of a rear-mounted badge. The ultra badge denotes the most efficient versions of a model line. Modifications to the transmission ratio, optimised streamlining of the body and suspension as well as the use of low-rolling-resistance tyres help to further reduce consumption, enabling up to 68.9mpg combined (108 grams of CO2 per kilometre) in the NEDC cycle, which sets the benchmark in the competitive field.

The two six-cylinder TDI power units offer a blend of power, refinement and impressive efficiency. The first variant of the 3.0 TDI produces 218PS and torque of 400 Nm (295.0 lb-ft), available between 1,250 and 3,750 rpm. In the NEDC cycle, this engine is capable of a combined 61.4mpg, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 119 grams per km.

The new top TDI increases power output to 286PS and offers 620 Nm (457.3 lb-ft) of torque between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. It features optimised combustion chamber filling, charge cycles and thermal management. The result is increased performance coupled with a further reduction in fuel consumption. Close-coupled catalytic converters treat the exhaust gas effectively.

The top diesel version contains a newly developed turbocharger that is 20 percent lighter, with variable turbine geometry (VTG) and a maximum boost pressure of 3.3 bar. The developers put a lot of work into optimising the gas flow, with the result that the engine responds highly spontaneously to the accelerator.

Six-speed manual transmission, seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission or eight-speed tiptronic – there is tailor-made drivetrain technology available for every engine version. Front-wheel drive is standard, with quattro all-wheel drive available as an option in two versions. It is standard for the 3.0 TDI with 286PS.

A V6 turbo engine with a hefty 354PS and 500Nm (368.8 lb-ft)of torque from 1,370 to 4,500 rpm powers the latest Audi S5 Sportback from 0 to 62mph in 4.7 seconds, and on up to an electronically governed top speed of 155mph. It naturally features quattro as standard, with wheel selective torque control as well as an eight-speed tiptronic transmission that can freewheel for further efficiency gains between 34 and 99mph when the driver eases off the accelerator pedal.

quattro with ultra technology

The new quattro with ultra technology is available for the TFSI and TDI four-cylinder engines with manual transmission. The efficiency-optimised all-wheel drive system does not perceptibly differ from permanent systems in terms of traction and driving dynamics. This is all thanks to the combination of the newly developed all-wheel drive components with a sophisticated operating strategy and a torque split perfectly matched to the car. The all-wheel drive system’s intelligent control works predictively, always looking ahead by means of a comprehensive array of sensors and the continuous analysis of the driving dynamics, road condition and driver behaviour data collected.

During operation at low loads without the risk of wheel slip, the new quattro drive exploits all the advantages of front-wheel drive. But the all-wheel drive system is always ready when needed. This system significantly reduces the potential difference in fuel consumption between front-wheel drive and permanent all-wheel drive systems.

Sport differential

As an option for the S5 Sportback, Audi complements quattro all-wheel drive with another dynamic technology component – the sport differential. It uses two superposition gears to distribute torque between the rear wheels. The latest generation of the differential is roughly one kilogram lighter. During fast driving, the sport differential literally pushes the car into the curve, nipping understeer in the bud. When turning into or accelerating in a curve, most of the torque is directed to the outside wheel.

Body and equipment

The body of the new Audi A5 Sportback is the lightest in the segment. An intelligent mix of materials makes it 15 kilograms lighter than that of its predecessor. The overall weight of the new generation has fallen by as much as 85 kilograms to just 1,470 kilograms, excluding the driver.

Audi offers the model with an upgraded list of standard equipment that includes a wide range of extra functions. These include xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights, Audi MMI radio plus with a 7-inch colour display, Bluetooth, a three-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel (including shift paddles in models with automatic transmission), front centre armrest, folding rear seat back with 40:20:40 split, and LED interior lighting. Also standard are the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, the Audi pre sense city and multicollision brake assist safety systems, and the variable speed limiter.

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