A5 Coupe 2.0TDI 190PS S line02 | 12 | 2016Scotcars rating

    Nine years after it was launched, Audi gives its lighter, faster A5 coupe a muscular new look

    NINE YEARS AFTER it first entered Scottish showrooms, Audi has launched the second generation of its three-door, four-seater A5 coupe. And it plans to make something of a statement. Lighter, faster, more efficient and more spacious it’s predecessor, it now also boasts a positively more aggressive stance.

    The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted the newcomer has a new face. While the 2017 model is, according to Audi,  an ‘evolution of a great formula’, this latest A5 has a new flatter and fatter grille, which has been pushed further down the nose.

    In addition, the standard Xenon headlights — LED are optional — sit higher and further back, plus the bonnet features scalloped sections that create some pretty and interesting ridges over the wings, as well as a ‘power dome’ in the middle.

    There’s no denying, this new A5, while clearly being from the same Audi family, has now matured into a more muscular being with its own, strong identity.

    Built on the same MLB evo platform which has also supported the latest Q7 and A4, the new A5 is ready to take the battle to the likes of its BMW’s 4-series and Mercedes-Benz C-class coupe rivals.

    Related: Audi TT 2.0TDI gets quattro

    Not only does the new Audi have a best-in-class seats-up luggage capacity of 465-litres, up from 455-litres, but its low 0.25 drag co-efficient boosts economy and aids cabin acoustics. And while it gets class-leading infotainment and advanced safety systems, there’s also the Audi Virtual Cockpit instrument system available as an option.

    Across the range, there’s also the choice of a redeveloped six-speed manual gearbox, a seven-speed S ironic (available on front-wheel drive for the first time) and eight-speed tiptronic transmissions. Plus, of course, Audi’s iconic quattro four-wheel drive technology.

    In terms of size, the new A5 coupe is 8mm narrower at 1846mm (excl mirrors), 1mm lower at 1371mm, and 47mm longer at 4673mm; plus the wheelbase has increased by 13mm to 2764mm. It’s also unto 60kg lighter than the previous model.

    At launch — and the car is already on-sale at Scottish dealerships, with first deliveries scheduled for January — there are three power plants; the 252PS 2.0TFSI, 190PS 2.0TDI and 218PS 3.0TDI. Of course, there is also the 354PS 3.0TFSI S5.

    While the S5 starts at £47,000, the A5 range will start at £30,700 for the 190PS 2.0TFSI SE.

    Related: Five-star safety rating for Audi A5 and Q2

    Today we’re driving the car which, with the other 2.0TDI diesels, will take the lion’s share of sales, the 190PS 2.0TDI, which we’ve mated with the seven-speed S ironic. In S line spec, which has a lowered suspension by 20mm — there’s also SE and Sport trims — the car hits 62mph from standstill in 7.7secs, carries on to a max of 146mph, returns 67.3mpg at the pumps and emits 111g/km CO2. It’ll set you back £38,130.

    With both front and rear track widths increased a few millimetres over that of the A4, the sporty A5 feels well planted and resists any hint of understeer. Playing about with the suspension settings, you’ll probably find yourself opting for either Comfort or Dynamic, depending on whether you’ve got granny in the car, or you’re in a bit of a hurry. I’ve always loved the stiffness of Audi’s suspension, so it’s Dynamic for me.

    It’s one of these cars which just does everything right. It’s capable of hustling cross-country and putting a big smile on your face, but it’ll also gobble up the motorway miles all day long and leave you feeling relaxed and ready for your meeting.

    Inside the cabin, you’d be excused for thinking you were in an A4 — no bad thing — because the dashboard has been carried over lock, stock and barrel into the A5. Build and tactile quality, as you would expect, is exemplary and, if you fancy it, Audi’s clever and stylish ‘virtual cockpit’ digital dials are available as an option.

    Related: Audi lifts lid on A5 Cabriolet

    The car benefits from the extra length in the wheelbase, somehow managing to create an even more light and airy environment with 26mm more shoulder room and 12mm more headroom.

    As for technology, basically everything that’s available on the Q7 is available here. That means an on-board 4G WiFi system with flat-rate data plan, impressively conversational voice control and a moderate degree of self-driving capability are all available, either individually, or as part of a ‘bundle of IT. According to Audi, there’s something like 20 techie USPs on the options list.

    There were some journos at the launch who felt the A5 doesn’t

    look or drive like full-blooded coupe, and felt it resembled too much the A4 saloon on which it’s based. Tosh!

    Honestly? Sit an A4 next to this latest A5 and you’ll instantly spot the difference. Yes they’re from the same parents, and there’s a natural family resemblance, but they are completely separate and different identities.

    The 2017 Audi A5 brings a new level of sophistication and technology to the sector and that, combined with its muscular stance and attractive new face means demand is sure to be strong for the newcomer. Is that a surprise? No; because the new A5 is a cracker!

    Related: Roadtest — Audi R8 V10 Plus

    Keep up-to-date with all the latest news by following us on twitter.com/Scotcars

    Jim McGill

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £38,130 /
    Engine / Power: 1968cc 16v 4cyl diesel, with 7spd dual-clutch auto / 189bhp
    How fast?: 0-62mph 7.7sec / Max 146mp
    How big/heavy?: L4673mm W1846mm (excl mirrors) H1371mm / n/a
    How thirsty/CO2?: 67.3mpg combined / 111g/km CO2
    InsGP/Road tax: n/a / n/a
    Alternatives: BMW 420d Sport Coupe, Mercedes C-Class Coupe C220d Sport auto

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