The second-generation Audi A5 and S5 models will be available in SA in the last quarter of 2016, and now the company has also revealed its more practical, five-door Sportback variants. These will be made available in SA in the first quarter of 2017.
Having sold more than 340,000 units globally since its launch in 2009, the Sportback variant curried favour with those looking for a stylish yet practical variant of the A5 model.
The new version continues the previous model’s distinct design, but adds some character lines on the bonnet and side profile. All in all, it is an evolutionary design that will be familiar to previous A5 Sportback owners.
Size-wise, the car is 1,587mm at the front and 1,568mm at the rear, while the wheelbase measures 2,824mm.
The front axle features redesigned five-link suspension, while a five-link construction replaces the trapezoidal-link rear suspension.
The sportier S5 variant features sports suspension as standard, while from a design perspective the bumper, air inlets and side sills feature distinctive contours. Many of the S-specific styling additions are painted in matt grey. Aluminium inlays accentuate cabin appointments, while the exterior mirror housings have the signature aluminium look. The rear bumper integrates a black honeycomb grille, aluminium diffuser trim and the signature four tailpipes, while a colour-coded boot spoiler completes the sporty look.
Cabin appointments are typically of high quality as we have come to expect of the brand. The flagship infotainment version is MMI (Multimedia Interface) Navigation Plus with MMI touch. It includes such features as 10GB 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 1,024×480 pixels. Audi MMI Navigation Plus works in tandem with many of the car’s assistance and safety systems.
A variety of engines mirroring those of its coupe and A4 siblings will be utilised including both TDI and TFSI, while the S5 will share a 3.0l V6 turbo petrol engine, pushing out 257kW and 500Nm via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Power goes to all four wheels through the quattro system, which can also be equipped with an optional sports differential that quells understeer. Performance is said to be brisk with a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 250km/h.
Practicality remains one of the model’s main fortes and it features a 480l boot, which can be expanded in a 40/20/40 split rear-seat configuration.
A range of driver assistance systems that cover a wide range of functions in the new model can also be specified. An intelligent combination of different technologies enhances safety, comfort and efficiency.
Meanwhile, Audi is also taking the next step toward autonomous driving. Playing a central role is the adaptive cruise control stop-and-go system including traffic jam assist. It relieves the tedium of driving in slow-moving traffic up to a driving speed of 65km/h by assuming the tasks of braking and accelerating the car, and it also temporarily takes charge of steering duties on well-marked 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.
Overall the new A5 Sportback is 17% more powerful and 22% more efficient than its predecessor, thanks largely to a weight reduction of 85kg over the outgoing model.
The new model will be officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October ahead of its arrival in SA in 2017.