Next techno ticks

The Courier-Mail - Cars Guide - - Launch Pad -

AUDI A5 Next month, new Audi A5 and S5 four-door “coupes” ar­rive seven years af­ter the orig­i­nal. As with most new Audis, the ex­te­rior styling changes are sub­tle but the com­pany says the cabin is no­tice­ably roomier, with more front shoul­der room and rear knee room. The other big dif­fer­ence is the avail­abil­ity of Audi’s vir­tual cock­pit, a high­res­o­lu­tion dig­i­tal screen that re­places the old-fash­ioned speedo and tacho di­als and dis­plays the sat­nav map di­rectly in front of the driver. The A5 and the sportier S5 also pick up Audi’s new “traf­fic jam as­sis­tant”, which can ac­cel­er­ate and brake — and steer if the road mark­ings are clear enough — at up to 65km/h. Pric­ing should re­main static but the value equa­tion will be stronger. Ex­pect the A5’s en­gines to mir­ror the A4, with the base front-drive model pow­ered by a 2.0-litre petrol, while more ex­pen­sive mod­els will be avail­able with a diesel and a more pow­er­ful petrol en­gine, each all-wheel drive. The S5 should be a hoot, with a turbo V6 putting out roughly 260kW.

MAZDA CX-5 Our most pop­u­lar SUV gets a midlife makeover that in­cludes new tech­nol­ogy and a new look. Prices are ex­pected to rise slightly on the cheaper mod­els to com­pen­sate for more stan­dard equip­ment. A new model, the Tour­ing, will slot in be­tween the Maxx Sport and GT, which are $7000 apart at the mo­ment. Tech ad­vances will in­clude cruise con­trol that can brake to a stand­still and ac­cel­er­ate off the mark, high­beam head­lights that dim to avoid daz­zling on­com­ing traf­fic and sat­nav that recog­nises traf­fic signs. The maker has also re­sponded to crit­i­cism of the last model; there will be air­con vents for the sec­ond row, elec­tric tail­gate on more ex­pen­sive mod­els and re­duced noise and vi­bra­tion in the cabin.

MG GS Af­ter launch­ing a city run­about and hatch­back, Chi­nese brand MG ven­tures into SUVs late this month. The GS is roughly the size of a Mazda CX-5 and the base front-drive model will be pow­ered by a 1.5-litre turbo matched to a seven-speed du­al­clutch auto. It starts at $25,990 RRP but don’t be sur­prised if that be­comes the drive-away price. The GS has six airbags and sta­bil­ity con­trol but gets a four-star crash rat­ing, an im­prove­ment on other Chi­nese mod­els but still shy of what is ex­pected these days. There’s a gen­er­ous six-year war­ranty with six years of road­side as­sis­tance. So far buy­ers haven’t ex­actly flocked to the brand — the MG6 sold just 90 in Fe­bru­ary, its first month on sale, while the MG3 lured only 12.

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