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2018 Audi A5/S5 First Look Review

Refined Not Redefined

Refined Not Redefined

Having changed little since 2007, the Audi A5 is finally getting a redesign. The coupe gets many of the upgrades made to the 2017 A4 and receives updated styling that builds on the handsome looks of the outgoing model.

The A5 coupe gains increased dimensions and a longer wheelbase, but the overall look of the car remains intact. The hood is more sculpted and the headlights are slanted inward. Like the rest of the modern Audi lineup, the A5 ditches the old inverted trapezoid grille in favor of a sharper-looking hexagonal piece. LED and Matrix LED headlights are optional. The front end looks sleeker than before, and the car boasts a lower drag coefficient of 0.25.

Like the similar A4 sedan, the A5 benefits from a new chassis and mixed-material body, which contribute to a weight savings of up to 132 pounds (60 kg) over the previous model. Engines have only been announced for Europe so far, but they include a turbocharged 2.0-liter gas I-4, a turbodiesel 2.0-liter TDI I-4, and two versions of a 3.0-liter TDI V-6. The S5 receives an updated turbocharged 3.0-liter gas V-6, which makes 349 hp or 16 hp more than before. For the U.S., the A5 will likely get the same base 2.0-liter TFSI I-4 as the A4, which is rated at 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The A5 should also receive the 2.0-liter TDI that makes 188 hp and 295 lb-ft. In Europe, a six-speed manual will be available, but count on most cars getting the seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch in our market. The S5’s turbo V-6 will be mated to an eight-speed auto. Audi estimates the S5 can run from 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds.

The suspension has been revised and now offers available active dampers. That option is integrated into Audi’s drive select system, which allows drivers to tailor the A5’s ride and handling to their liking. Like the A4, the A5 gets Audi’s speed-sensitive electromechanical power steering system. Dynamic Steering, which can vary the gear ratio depending on speed and steering angle, is also available.

Inside, the A5 features Audi’s fancy new virtual cockpit, a TFT screen measuring 12.3 inches that serves as the gauge cluster. An MMI infotainment system with an 8.3-inch display stands atop the center stack and is controlled by Audi’s rotary interface, which has a touchpad that can recognize hand-written and pinch-to-zoom gestures. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard, while a Bang & Olufsen audio system with 3D sound is optional. In back, 40/20/40 split folding rear seats come standard. A hands-free trunk is optional and is operated by a wave of the foot beneath the bumper.

The A5 will offer an array of advanced safety features, including active lane assist, Stop & Go adaptive cruise control, and pre sense collision mitigation.

The A5 and S5 will go on sale in the U.K. this winter and will arrive in the North America sometime next year.