COUPE worth crow­ing over

Audi has slipped its el­e­gant A5 coupe in un­der $80,000, re­ports NICK DAL­TON

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

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,

World first: Range Rover Vogue 10MY fea­tures a dual view touch screen which al­lows the driver and passenger to view two dif­fer­ent im­ages.

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