All-round wheel deal

Audi dis­trib­utes torque on the new A5 coupe, JAMES STAN­FORD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test Audi A5 3.2 Quattro Tiptronic -

THERE is some­thing not right about a pres­tige per­for­mance coupe be­ing front-wheeldrive. That’s why we weren’t too ex­cited about the Audi A5 3.2 front-drive model equipped with a con­tin­u­ously vari­able au­to­matic trans­mis­sion (CVT), which was re­leased last year.

Audi has rolled out an A5 us­ing the same en­gine, but with a reg­u­lar au­to­matic that sends power to each wheel. It looks just as sexy as the front-drive model, but has a trac­tion ad­van­tage.

The A5 is an in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant car to Audi. Not in terms of sales, but be­cause of what it sym­bol­ises. Audi is do­ing its best to ri­val and even outdo BMW, which ex­plains mod­els such as the R8 su­per­car.

It has matched most of BMW’s cars so far, but hasn’t, in mod­ern times, had a coupe ver­sion of its A4 ex­ec­u­tive sedan that would ri­val the lovely 3 Se­ries coupe.

Well, here it is. The A5 is built off the same base as the new A4, which means it has a repo­si­tioned steer­ing rack to give the car a sportier feel.

It is a sleek two-door model with seats for four peo­ple and 455 litres of boot space. Just like the A4, it has a five-link front sus­pen­sion set-up and a trape­zoidal link rear with most com­po­nents made of forged alu­minium.

The A5 has a 3.2-litre di­rect in­jec­tion V6 en­gine with 195kW at 6500 revs and 330Nm at 3000-5000 revs. That al­lows the A5 to sprint from 0-100km/h in 6.4sec.

The qu­at­tro AWD sys­tem now feeds 60 per cent of torque to the rear and 40 per cent to the front to give the car more of a rear-drive feel.

This com­pares with the pre­vi­ous A4 set­ting that torque split 50/50.

The fuel con­sump­tion fig­ure is not too bad, with the tra­di­tional au­to­matic us­ing 9.3 litres/100km, slightly up on the CVT model’s 8.7 litres.

The new au­to­matic is a sixspeeder, which can be man­u­ally con­trolled us­ing the gear shifter or by op­er­at­ing ped­als be­hind the steer­ing wheel.

A sportier and more ex­pen­sive S5 vari­ant is avail­able with a 4.2-litre V8 en­gine that has 260kW.

Audi also plans to fill out the A5 range with a 3.0-litre tur­bod­iesel ver­sion in Novem­ber and a new en­try level 1.8-litre petrol model early next year.

Pric­ing for the A5 range starts with the front-drive 3.2 CVT model at $91,900 and the new A5 AWD auto is $95,900.

Audi has an­nounced the diesel A5 is likely to cost about $97,000, while the en­try level 1.8 is about $70,000.

The V8 S5 comes at a sig­nif­i­cant pre­mium, cost­ing $131,900 as ei­ther an au­to­matic or man­ual.

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