2013 Audi A5, S5: First Look

  • Competes with: BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Infiniti G37
  • Looks like: A current A5 with the A7’s nose
  • Drivetrain: 211-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, six-speed manual or CVT transmission with front or all-wheel drive (A5); 333-hp, supercharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder with all-wheel drive(S5)
  • Hits dealerships: Midyear 2012

The Audi A5 and higher-performance S5 are getting a slightly new look for the 2013 model with mostly exterior updates, though the S5 loses one of its defining characteristics, but perhaps that’s not a bad thing.

Up front, the A5’s new headlights, bumper and fog lights are more chiseled and closely match its 2012 A6 and A7 siblings. The rear lights have been redesigned, too, but it’s harder to differentiate those compared with the more dramatic changes up front.

The S5 gains similar aesthetic alterations but loses the 4.2-liter V-8 that’s been available since its launch as a 2008 model. We’ll miss the burly sounds of the 354-horsepower V-8, but we are quite fond of the S5’s new engine: a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 making 333 hp. It also powers the A6 and A7.

Touched-up pieces on the inside include a new steering wheel and different finishes on the instrument cluster and center console. Models equipped with the optional MMI navigation system have a simpler layout with four buttons instead of eight. A newly optional Audi Connect system adds Google point-of-interest searches, navigation with Google Earth images and a wireless hotspot. Again, similar to the A6 and A7.

An Audi representative tells us the 2013 A5 and S5 will be available midyear 2012 and that the new 272-hp, supercharged 3.0-liter that will be found in European A5 models isn’t U.S.-bound at the moment. We expect U.S. pricing to be announced closer to the launch date but to remain similar to the current prices starting at $37,100.

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