Volkswagen CC 2012 review
Four-door coupes make a lot of sense in today’s world. As the baby boomers get older and their...
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In line with a raft of changes to the Audi A5 model line-up, we spent time in an A5 Sportback followed by a week in the sleek A5 Coupe. From roof to rubber and nose to tail the two make bold styling statements.
There’s little to choose between the A5 Sportback and Coupe 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic. The ‘twins’ even share the same $83,200 manufacturer’s list price.
Standard equipment includes concert audio system, a 6.5-inch colour screen with driver info system, electromechanical parking brake and automatic air conditioning that maintains constant temperatures in three zones.
Additional options can take their toll on owners’ wallets but remain attractive for those who want to stamp the car with a distinct mark and imposts are well within the market segment.
Both test cars were powered by the award-winning 2.0-litre TFSI four-cylinder petrol engine that takes advantage of Audi’s advanced engine technology which includes adjustable intake cams, exhaust valve-lift system, two balance shafts, low internal friction, new turbocharger and regulated oil pump.
Mated with the S tronic seven-speed transmission and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, the engine puts out 155 kW of power and 350 Nm of torque between 1500 and 4200 rpm. It’s enough to push the cars from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in 6.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 245 km/h where conditions permit.
With the aid of engine stop-start technology, fuel consumption slipped under seven litres per 100 kilometres on the motorway – very impressive – and was backed up with eight to ten around town in medium-to-heavy traffic.
The continuously variable seven-speed S tronic is two transmissions in one, with alternating dual clutches enabling lightning fast gear shifts. Taking a few hundredths of a second, it is extremely smooth and unfussed. A fully automatic mode has two modes – Drive and Sport - the driver switching via the central console mounted lever or option steering wheel shift paddles.
Mention quattro and it’s impossible not to speak of Audi in the same breath. For years the German automobile maker has been using this form of all-wheel drive, which in this case directs 40 per cent of power to the front wheels, the rest to the rear.
In the event of wheel slippage, an automatic centre differential shifts the majority of power to the other axle, thus returning grip all round. Electromechanical steering is a new addition to the A5. Speed sensitive, the system uses no energy when the vehicle is traveling in a straight line, thus adding to fuel savings.
Audi A5 owners can invest in more help by optioning adaptive cruise control, Audi active lane assist and a system that profiles the driver’s style and warns him or her of the onset of driver-affecting tiredness.
However, the granddaddy of them all is Audi Driver Select which changes the accelerator pedal characteristics, transmission shift pattern and power steering. The driver can dial up comfort, auto, dynamic or efficiency mode, the last of which is new and controls air-con and optional adaptive cruise control or standard cruise control boosting efficiency.
Further options include Audi side assist which looks out for vehicles in the car’s so-called blind spots on both sides and active lane assist which keeps an eye on lane markings ahead and if the vehicle drifts to the edge of the lane without the turn indicator being activated the steering automatically coaxes the driver to stay in the lane.
The Audi A5 Sportback and Coupe can carry up to four occupants, the two rear seats being very much individual units with a handy centre armrest. Passengers can take advantage of a plethora of storage compartments and drinkholders.
Ample legroom in the back is augmented by a boot capable of carrying up to 455 litres (Coupe) and 480 litres (Sportback) of cargo, which in the latter swells to 1263 litres with both rear seatbacks folded.
Seats are covered in high-grade Milano leather – Nappa or Valcona skin are options – and this can be extended to armrests on request. Further customisation is available with two-tone leather.
Long bonnet and wheelbase, and short overhangs give the Audi A5 an air of being primed and ready for action. Up front the deep one-piece black radiator grille is dominated by the Audi signature rings. On either side are redesigned headlamp clusters which contain xenon-plus headlights and a string of LED daytime running lights.
The reworked bumper is home to large air inlets with honeycomb grilles, foglamps and flared cross ribs which ape race car blades. An air inlet under the grille has a new look too.
Sportback and Coupe windscreen and roofs curve unhindered from front to back producing a vehicle profile that is pleasing to the eye and, in aerodynamic, thus fuel economy, terms easy on the pocket.
The Sportback comes with a standard slide-and-tilt glass sunroof, the Coupe a panoramic tilting sunroof and rear window shade. Body panels in both models have sections of ultra high-strength steel and the fenders are made from aluminium, both adding safety and security, at the same time saving weight.
These structural features also improve safety by providing crumple zones. There is an intelligent front, side and head airbag system, head restraints and roll-over protection that stand ready to shield occupants in case of a crash. Further automatic safety systems include electronic stability program, ABS anti-skid brakes with electronic brake force distribution
We found the steering was light yet, at all speeds, provided reassuringly positive feedback from the road. Powerful brakes did their bit in putting the driver at ease when pulling up. An adaptive brake light flashes rapidly under heavy braking to warn following drivers.
Audi A5 2.0-litre TFSI quattro S Tronic Sportback/Coupe
Price: from $66,900 as tested
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km
Engine: 2.0-litre, 4-cyl, 155kW/350Nm
Transmission: 7-speed S Tronic duel clutch, AWD
Dimensions: 4710/4630mm (L); 1850mm (W); 1390/1370mm (H)
Weight: 1525/1455kg (depending on engine)
|1.8 TFSI||1.8L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$21,746 – 28,990||2012 Audi A5 2012 1.8 TFSI Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TDI||2.0L, Diesel, CVT AUTO||$26,070 – 32,120||2012 Audi A5 2012 2.0 TDI Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TFSI||2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$23,760 – 29,370||2012 Audi A5 2012 2.0 TFSI Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TFSI Quattro||2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$25,888 – 27,688||2012 Audi A5 2012 2.0 TFSI Quattro Pricing and Specs|