Audi A5 (2007)

Published: 27 October 2006

Audi A5: the lowdown

Two doors, chunky proportions, an all-new platform and V8 power mark out Audi’s A5, now caught testing in production guise. The coupe will wade into the CLK and two-door 3-series market in 2007. The A5 took a bow in treacherous conditions at the Nurburgring, as its new MLB chassis is honed for sign-off. The 2+2-seater is spun off the next-generation A4 platform, and runs a wide range of petrol and diesel engines. Expect a price around £25,000, when sales begin in summer 2007. This model will spawn a replacement for today’s Audi cabriolet, which will also be badged A5 when it arrives in 2008.

Not quite Nuvolari

Audi previewed the general A5 theme with 2003’s Nuvolari concept car, which looked like a super-sized TT. This prototype remains well-disguised, but styling chief Walter de’Silva clearly has spiced up the ultra-clean show car. The glasshouse is now more angular instead of one flowing arc and the rear pillars chunkier. The dynamic line above the sills and the kinked shoulder line are less subtle, and the shutlines for bonnet and doors edgier. But the overall look is of a handsome, well proportioned coupe, which will have Audi’s trademark singleframe grille.

Under the skin

As reported by CAR Online, the A5 uses the new MLB platform, which will underpin numerous future Audis. The engine is shunted back in the nose, although the front overhang is nowhere near BMW-short. Insiders promise that the juggling of components like the clutch and differential, plus a new suspension design and steering rack, should ensure MLB-based cars feel more agile. Expect decent space inside, for the A5 wheelbase should be around 2.8m-long, making the rear seats more than just occasional perches.

Hot versions…

With its quad tailpipes, massive rims and rear lip spoiler, this looks very much like the S5 testing. The four-wheel drive S model will run the 4.2-litre V8, but with power massaged to 353 horses from today’s 339bhp. An RS5 quattro is a dead cert, wielding the latest version of the sonorous, high-revving V8 which kicks out 414bhp in the current RS4 saloon.

…and cooking coupes

There’ll be an A5 for lesser bank accounts, too, with front-wheel drive. The base engine will be a 2.0-litre turbocharged four, available with around 170 and 211bhp. There’ll also be a V6 with around 270bhp. Diesel power comes the 170bhp 2.0-litre TDi, and the familiar 190 and 238bhp V6 common-rail units.

By Phil McNamara

Editor-in-chief of CAR magazine