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Audi A5 Coupe: Slick, Swift and Svelte for Refined Tastes

By Lyndon Conrad Bell, March 17th, 2018

The all-new 2018 Audi A5 Coupe presents a degree of finesse and sophistication few other models in its category can match. The fluidity of its exterior styling, the gracious accommodations of its interior features and the quietly competent way it moves, mark the A5 as a singularly desirable coupe.

Manufacturer photo: Featuring a completely new powertrain, the A5 coupe comes standard equipped with a 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine and, for the first time, a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, which melds efficiency with dynamic shifting characteristics to help optimize fuel consumption
Manufacturer photo: Featuring a completely new powertrain, the A5 coupe comes standard equipped with a 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine and, for the first time, a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, which melds efficiency with dynamic shifting characteristics to help optimize fuel consumption

Already one of the most handsome cars on the road, the Audi A5's styling rejuvenation makes what was merely lovely before, downright beautiful now. While the overall shape remains familiar, the elongation of its lines renders it more graceful and sportier.

Backing up the promise of the exterior styling, Audi's engineering team fit a 252-horsepower version of the VW Group's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the A5's base powerplant. A seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission feeds engine output to all four wheels.

This is a full 32 horsepower more than the previous version of Audi's luxury sports coupe got from its standard engine. More significantly, this 2.0-liter four spins out 273 lb.-ft. of torque at a low 1,600 rpm. This gives the A5 a 0-to-60 mph of just over 5 seconds.

Driving the old and new A5s back-to-back, I felt the difference immediately. Long story short, the A5 now flows as well as it shows.

Manufacturer photo: Featuring a completely new powertrain, the A5 coupe comes standard equipped with a 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine and, for the first time, a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, which melds efficiency with dynamic shifting characteristics to help optimize fuel consumption

This is a grownup's performance car. If you're looking for a thundering exhaust note and lumbering ride quality, then you might want to turn your attention toward something else. The A5 Coupe is a slick, swift and svelte ride, specifically designed to appeal to individuals with refined tastes.

The Audi's interior treatment underscores this assertion. The moment I settled into the nicely proportioned and decidedly supportive front seat, the A5 offered up my seatbelt. Rather than requiring the driver or front seat passenger to look over their shoulders to locate the seatbelt on the "B" pillar, the A5 presents the buckle.

Further exhibiting the panache typical of Audi, the rest of the interior is outfitted in high style. Every creature comfort the buyer could reasonably expect is submitted in a chic arrangement, one readily telegraphing the value of the car. Clever solutions, along with outstanding materials and workmanship abound.

As an example, the TFT (thin film transfer) virtual instrument panel can be set to show a continually updating satellite view of the Audi's physical position. Additionally, Audi's MMI (multi media interface) remains one of the best telematics systems in the automotive world. That said however, I do miss the days when its monitor could be hidden away when not in use.

Still, outward visibility is excellent, which is a refreshing circumstance for a coupe. All sightlines are clean, even the rear three-quarter perspective. The adaptability of the driving position further marks the A5 coupe as having been designed with the pilot in mind. The generously proportioned steering wheel adjusts for height and reach, while the front seats offer more positions and flexibility than a yoga instructor.

Manufacturer photo: Featuring a completely new powertrain, the A5 coupe comes standard equipped with a 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine and, for the first time, a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, which melds efficiency with dynamic shifting characteristics to help optimize fuel consumption

The 2018 Audi A5 Coupe's dynamic capabilities are fully commensurate with every other aspect of the car. The driver can specify high performance operation or graceful cruising with the A5's multiple driving modes. The sleek coupe tightens up when opting for the sport configuration to reveal determined handling, resolute acceleration and acutely responsive steering.

I thoroughly enjoyed attacking twisting two-lanes in this setting. Conversely, I appreciated the quietly unobtrusive demeanor of the A5 in normal mode during morning and evening commutes.

If a luxury sports coupe fits your lifestyle, then you'll want to give the 2018 Audi A5 an opportunity to sway you. Odds are, its optimal blend of performance, comfort, style and sophistication will do so. Pricing starts at $42,600.

Specifications

Base price $42,600 (as tested: $43,575)
Curb weight 3,605 lbs.
Displacement 2.0-liter
Engine type 16-valve TFSI turbocharged 4-cylinder
Epa mileage rating 24 mpg city, 34 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 15.2 gal.
Horsepower (net) 252 at 6000 rpm
Overall length 184.0 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 273 at 1600 rpm
Transmission 7-speed S tronic
Vehicle type 2+2-passenger AWD midsize coupe
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