COUPE worth crowing over
Audi has slipped its elegant A5 coupe in under $80,000, reports NICK DALTON
THE more affordable coupes arrive with award-winning 2.0 TFSI turbocharged engines and quattro all-wheel drive.
They offer price tags of $15,000 less than the first of the A5s which were launched last year in 3.2 V6 modes and a turbo-diesel in the mid to high $90,000 bracket.
The manual version is $79,900 while the S tronic is $83,500.
For the first time, the A5 is available with Audi’s sporty, four cylinder 2.0 TFSI engine which has 155kW of power between 4300 and 6000rpm and 350Nm of torque.
It combines direct fuel injection and turbocharging technology with the new Audi valvelift system (AVS) which varies valve lift for increased power output and optimum fuel economy, racing from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds but delivering 7.5 litres per 100km.
The A5 2.0 TFSI quattro is available with either the company’s progressive new sevenspeed dual-clutch S tronic gearbox, priced at $83,500, or a six-speed manual gearbox, priced at $79,900.
The dual-clutch gearbox is designed for use with a longitudinally-installed engine and quattro all-wheel drive. The fully automatic mode, in which the control unit determines the gearshifts, offers Drive and Sport programs.
In the A5 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic variant, power flows from the drive shaft to the self-locking centre differential of the quattro drivetrain, which distributes it into two directions. In the regular distribution pattern, 60 per cent of the torque flows via the propeller shaft to the rear-axle differential and 40 per cent via a side shaft to the bevel pinion of the front axle differential. To reduce weight, this shaft is also hollow. When needed, the centre differential can deliver up to 85 per cent of the power to the rear axle or up to 65 per cent to the front axle.
Transmission management is by means of a mechatronic module. This compact unit containing the control units and hydraulic actuators is a completely new development. Its control concept allows the speed of the gearshift to be varied, with precise control of the power necessary for the process.
The control pressure is generated by an efficiently operating oil pump that is located next to the mechatronic module and is driven by a gear stage. It is supported by a vacuum booster for cooling the dual clutch during starting. This virtually doubles the amount of oil delivered on demand, without any need to increase the power consumption.
In the standard specification, the A5 2.0 TFSI quattro powertrain features a six-speed manual gearbox with sporty ratios. This is noted for its very precise action with crisp, short gearshifts. A special mount for the selector forks effectively isolates the gear lever from driveline vibrations.
From standstill, the 1490kg A5 2.0 TFSI quattro manual can sprint to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds, reach 246km/h, average 7.4 litres of 95 RON premium unleaded petrol per 100km, and emit 173g of CO2/km. The S-tronic is just as quick to 100km/h, 1km/h slower overall, 0.1L/100km thirstier and 6g/km dirtier.
Nevertheless, Audi is crowing loudly about the 155kW/350Nm A5 2.0 TFSI quattro S-tronic’s virtues when compared to its similarly priced 160kW/250Nm BMW 325i Coupe auto and soon to be replaced 135kW/250Nm Mercedes-Benz CLK 200 Kompressor auto rivals. The A5 has 100Nm more torque than either, is more than one second faster in the 0-100km/h sprint-time than the second-placed BMW,
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