OK, at first glance, it doesn’t look all that radical (although if you look more carefully, new features do start to emerge). However, under the skin is a genuinely all-new car that’s both the lightest in its class and packed with some of the most advanced technology available.
Using the Audi A4’s new MLB platform, the new A5 Coupe’s proportions have evolved: this time, there’s a longer wheelbase, longer bonnet and shorter overhangs both front and rear. With a Cd of 0.25, the flowing body is the most aerodynamic in its class.
There’s also more sculpted detailing than the more minimalist original, which original designer Walter de Silva once described as a genuinely beautiful car that was the favourite of all his designs.
Here, Audi has beefed up the curves and featurelines on the bonnet, more deeply profiled the flowing side featureline and carefully sculpted some rather lovely haunches for the rear wheelarches. There’s a bigger grille at the front and we love the flat wraparound edge of the rear wing that frames the tail lamps: a small example of Audi’s manufacturing brilliance.
It’s just like the Audi A4 saloon inside, with the firm’s virtual dial set available and with both quality and tactility marking a step in in this sector, even when compared to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe. Audi says it will be quiet too, with aeroacoustics on a par with a luxury car that “redefines the class benchmark”.
There’s more space inside too, particularly in the rear, and the boot is up 10 litres to 465 litres.
New Audi A5 Coupe launch engines
Audi’s launching the new A5 Coupe with two petrol engines and three TDIs. On the TFSI petrol side, there’s a 2.0-litre four-cylinder in fuel-saving 190hp or regular 250hp guise, while the new S5 Coupe gets a 354hp 3.0-litre turbo V6.
Befitting its ability to do 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds, Audi’s given the new S5 Coupe a suitably S-themed design makeover: compare the differences of the red S5 Coupe to the regular A5 Coupe in the images above.
TDI diesels include the volume-selling 190hp 2.0-litre TDI and the 3.0-litre TDI V6 in either 218hp or 270hp guise. Audi reckons they use up to 22 per cent less fuel and the new V6 diesel is much more refined than its rather clattery predecessor.
Naturally, you can get quattro all-wheel drive alongside the regular front-wheel drive setup: you can also get the fuel-saving quattro ultra tech on manual-gearbox four-cylinder TFSI and TDI motors.
We’ll find out when we drive it in a few weeks just how Audi’s made use of the platform that’s up to 60kg lighter: for now, it’s promising the all-new chassis is one of the highlights of the new car, with more comfort and agility. Adaptive dampers are optional, as is variable-ratio dynamic steering if the regular electromechanical setup isn’t exciting enough.
There’s a plethora of tech elsewhere too, including a brace of adaptive drive systems that offer varying levels of autonomous assist: the new A5 Coupe will park itself, steer itself to stay in lane on motorways, automatically stop if it detects a crash in town and cruise along with the traffic on a motorway itself – even stopping and starting again in the flow of traffic.
The one thing we don’t yet know about the new A5 Coupe is how much it will cost. That will be revealed when ordering opens later this summer: expect deliveries to begin later on in 2016.