Audi’s A5 range fuses fun with performance and practicality

Audi’s A5 range fuses fun with performance and practicality

By SHAMS NAQVI | | 14 October, 2017
Audi’s A5, luxury car segment, Audi sedans, LED, Indian car, German car
Rahil Ansari, Head, Audi India with Bollywood actress Ileana D’Cruz at the launch of Audi A5 Sportback, A5 Cabriolet and S5 Sportback in India.
The lineup is now complete. The Indian car market has seen everything from the A3 to the A8 barring the A5. The second generation of the car has now been launched in India, but it hasn’t come alone. Along with the sport back, a cabriolet version has also been introduced and that’s not all, the more powerful S5 is there too. The German car maker is celebrating the festive season with a bang and this is their strong bid to regain the top position in the luxury car segment.

Looks

Now the A5 is quite unconventional when compared to the other Audi sedans in the country. There are a lot of attractive elements namely the bulges on the bonnet, the frameless doors and the sloping roofline. The 18 inch aluminum alloys also add a lot of character to the car. The car gets LED headlamps with what Audi calls a “4 eye” design and the dynamic turn indicators as always are a class apart. The tail lamps also get LED lights. Pretty similar in looks is the S5 which India has seen earlier but this new car is definitely less boxy and therefore a lot more appealing. The cabriolet comes with an acoustic hood and the fully automatic soft top takes just 15 seconds to open provided the speed is less than 50 km/hr. 

Interior

The horizontal architecture of the instrument panel creates a sense of spaciousness. There’s a lot that reminds of the Audi A4, on which the A5 is based. There’s the famed Audi multimedia Interface which is very easy to use thanks to the nice layout of buttons. The car also gets a virtual cockpit something that is very useful for the driver. The front row is A pretty comfortable place to be in with the seats offering good thigh support. The car also offers optional ambient lighting with three colours and 30 combinations. The Audi Smartphone Interface and a Bang & Olufsen Sound System come as options on the A5. The second row is good on leg space but headroom might be a bit of a problem for tall occupants. But rear seat passengers do benefit from 3-zone climate control.  There’s more than decent boot space which stands at 480 liters and the second row can be folded down in a split format to create more space to keep bulkier items.

Engine

Talking about the A5 first it runs on a very practical 2.0 liter 4 cylinder diesel engine that churns out 190 bhp and delivers a very impressive torque of 400 Nm. It’s mated to a 7-speed S-tronic dual clutch transmission which is very responsive. The engine too is refined and despite being a diesel this is a very silent cabin. The car races from 0-100 kmph in 7.9 seconds. In comparison the brute S5 does the same in a mere 4.7 seconds. It runs on a more powerful 3.0 liter V6 Petrol engine that delivers 354 bhp and 500 Nm. While the A5 is just front wheel driven, the S5 and the Cabriolet get the Audi Quattro system.  There are different driving modes on the cars and with them the engine response and gearbox settings change amongst other things.

Ride & Handling

What really works to the advantage of these cars when it comes to handling are their designs. You sit low in them, lower than the A4 which means the cars handle with aplomb. They feel pretty stable at high speeds and though there was a lack of curvy roads on our drive in Jaipur it was enough to sense the handling capabilities. The steering is responsive but the feedback can definitely be better. The ride is on the stiffer side you some undulations are felt more so on the lower speeds but as the speeds keep getting higher the newly developed sport suspension specially on the S5 performs its duty really well. The S5 also gets a new Electromechanical Power Steering and the Optional Sports Differential. 

Verdict

Audi is really trying to cater to a large section of the premium car buyer by launching 3 new cars at the same time. The A5 has a lot in common with the A4 but offers a lot more style and therefore exclusivity. But that comes at a price which is Rs. 54 lakh ex-showroom. The Cabriolet can be yours for Rs. 67.5 lakh while the S5 is priced at Rs. 70.6 lakh. If you have the money the German car maker is assuring that one of these 3 will suit you well.

Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars

 

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