Competes with: BMW 4 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, Lexus RC
Looks like: The previous A5 enhanced with an image-sharpening filter
Drivetrain: 252-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; 354-hp, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder with conventional eight-speed automatic transmission; standard all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Early 2017
CARS.COM — Luxury coupes are having somewhat of a resurgence (real two-door coupes, not sedans masquerading as coupes) with recent redesigns and introductions such as the BMW 4 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Lexus RC. Now it’s Audi’s turn with the redesigned 2018 A5 and S5 coupes. They show off updated styling inside and out, new engines and a bevy of new tech features. The A5 and S5 are coupe counterparts to the A4/S4 sedan and share many of the redesigned 2017 A4’s updates.
The coupe’s profile is largely unchanged, though the difference is in the details with sharper, more dimensional styling front to rear. A wider, flatter grille and lower hood line combine with a lower stance for a more aggressive appearance, while the headlights and taillights are redesigned and up front feature Audi’s signature LED daytime running lamps with standard xenon headlights. Full LED headlights (low/high beams) are optional and standard LED taillights get the job done in the rear.
A floating dashboard-mounted media screen and electronic gear selector highlight two of the most notable changes to the interior’s usability, replacing the outgoing coupe’s more traditional integrated dashboard screen and mechanical, pull-back gear selector. Audi’s optional Virtual Cockpit with 12.3-inch configurable digital instrument cluster is impressive in other Audi models we’ve tested; the massive display shows high-quality graphics ranging from traditional analog gauges to a full-width navigation display.
The S5 includes unique sport seats standard with contrast stitching and massaging function as well as a unique three-spoke, flat-bottom steering wheel. All A5 and S5 coupes have a panoramic sunroof, ambient LED lighting and interior aluminum trim standard. They also feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; an available 19-speaker, 755-watt Bang & Olufsen stereo is optional.
Under the Hood
Two new engines mean more power for 2017. A 252-hp turbocharged four-cylinder is the sole power plant in the A5 and it mates to a six-speed manual transmission or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. While the A5 has standard all-wheel drive, it uses two unique systems depending on the transmission choice. With the manual transmission, the A5 drives the wheels with a new Quattro Ultra system capable of driving the front wheels only to save fuel, while the automatic A5 uses a more traditional Quattro system with standard torque split 40:60 front to rear. Audi says fuel economy estimates aren’t yet available.
Under the S5’s hood is a new turbocharged six-cylinder making 21 more horsepower than its previous supercharged counterpart. Manual transmission enthusiasts will be disappointed to hear there’s no row-your-own option for the S5, as a traditional torque converter eight-speed automatic is the only S5 transmission. Enhancing the S5’s driving capabilities is an optional sport package and sport differential that splits torque between the rear wheels to enhance handling.
Audi says the A5 can do zero-to-60 mph in 5.6 seconds with the automatic transmission and 5.7 seconds with the manual, while the higher-performing S5 does 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. For the A5, that’s six-tenths faster for the manual and a half-second faster than the automatic. The S5 is a half-second faster than the outgoing S5, Audi estimates.
And If you thought the transmission and all-wheel-drive offerings were confusing, the redesigned suspension has just as many configurations. A5 coupes can come with an optional sport suspension featuring a 23-mm-lower ride height, unique anti-roll bars, dampers and springs, or you can opt for the “comfort adaptive damping” suspension that lowers ride height by 10 mm and uses adaptive, adjustable firmness dampers tunable in the Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual drive modes. On the S5, there’s an optional sport adaptive damping system that replaces the standard S5 suspension.
Standard safety features include Audi Pre Sense City that below 52 mph can detect a collision (vehicle or pedestrian) and apply full braking power. Blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist are all available. The adaptive cruise control features a traffic jam assist function that Audi says helps maintain a set distance in traffic from zero-to-25 mph by braking, accelerating and providing steering guidance to reduce driver fatigue.