It may not look much different, but Audi has announced some significant upgrades for its entire A5 range.
The Audi A5 Coupé, Cabriolet, Sportback and S5 performance variants all see improves to fuel economy and CO2 emissions thanks to engine changes and technical revisions.
2012 Audi A5: more than meets the eye
It might not look very different, but the revised A5 has undergone some big changes under its skin.
Stare hard enough, and you might just spot the alterations to the bumpers, bonnets, grilles and lights – most notably the sporty S5 versions, which now feature LED daytime running lights that almost completely surround the headlamps and new LED strip lights at the rear. The new LED arrangement is also available as an optional extra for lesser models.
On the inside, the updated A5 gains new steering wheels, column stalks and ‘narrow chrome clasps framing the control elements’ – not to mention a new selector lever for automatic transmissions, some redesigned buttons, new trim choices and a new ignition key.
Standard, SE and S line are available – which means the A5 Coupé drops the Sport option. A5 Sportback buyers can now opt (at extra cost) for a third rear seatbelt. New high-tech toys include a gadget that turns the A5 into a wireless internet hotspot, with access to Google online services, including Google Earth and Google Points of Interest.
Can’t wait for the 2012 model? Read all about the A5 Coupe and Cabriolet here
Overhauled engines up to 22% more efficient
But the revised A5’s most important alterations are the updated engine line up, new power steering and changes to the quattro four-wheel drive system that’s offered on some models.
The entry-level 1.8-litre TFSI turbo petrol engine has been completely redesigned, and now offers 167bhp – up from 158bhp. This has allowed Audi to ditch the 177bhp 2.0-litre turbo version. Emissions on the new model are low at 134g/km with a claimed 49.6mpg – a best in class result for a big coupé and a 21% reduction in CO2 from before.
And that’s not the only astonishing result. The 187bhp 2.7-litre V6 TDI turbodiesel has been replaced with a new, 201bhp version of the 3.0-litre V6 TDI that emits 129g/km CO2 and claims 57.6mpg. That’s barely worse than the 2.0-litre TDI, which now achieves 60.1mpg and 122g/km CO2.
The S5 Coupe now joins its Sportback and Cabriolet siblings in being powered by a 328bhp supercharged 3.0-litre petrol V6, rather than the previous 4.2-litre V8. This instantly improves the fuel economy from 26.4mpg to 34.9mpg, yet still shaves 0.2 seconds off the 0-62mph time, which is now just 4.9 seconds.
A less powerful, 268bhp version of this engine replaces the old 3.2 petrol V6 elsewhere in the range.
Want to find the cheapest fuel? Read our online guide
Eight-speed auto, new driver aids
Assisting these impressive efficiency results comes the all-encompassing introduction of stop-start technology, a new electro-mechanical power steering system with reduced power consumption, and the optional availability on some models of an eight speed Multitronic automatic gearbox.
The quattro four-wheel drive system offered on some A5 models is upgraded to the very latest version – as already seen on the very high performance RS5 model.
Audi has also made changes to the suspension settings and there’s a new edition of the optional Audi drive select system that allows you to choose between Comfort, Auto, Sport and new Efficiency settings (plus Individual mode where satellite navigation is also fitted).
This can be boosted further with adjustable damping, variable rate steering, and a rear ‘sport’ differential.
What’s stop-start technology? Find out here
Priced from £25,540
Full pricing and specification details for the 2012 model year Audi A5 range are yet to be announced, but it will cost from £25,540 when it goes on sale this September.
That’s a slight increase over the current £25,465 asking price for the base A5 Sportback. First deliveries are scheduled for December.
Get the lowdown on all Audi A5 models, or check out the rest of the Audi range. Members can read full online reviews for free – join Which? for just £1 to gain access to a wealth of car-related information.