More than seven years after the first generation A5 Sportback imposed itself in this segment, the new A5 will arrive here early next year.
The second generation comes with a re-engineered suspension, promised enhanced performance and, what Audi describes as innovative driver assistance systems. It also says it boasts the latest infotainment features.
The new model has a more athletic design, helped by a slightly stretched wheelbase, and short overhangs, and the wider, flatter single-frame grille. The wave-pattern shoulder line and more pronounced curves over the wheel arches work well.
The Audi S5 Sportback has grown inside, in length by 17 millimetres, the shoulder room for driver and front passenger by up to 11 millimetres, and the rear knee room by 24 millimetres. It offers 480 litres of luggage capacity.
The new model features a new suspension suspension and Audi claims the new electromechanical power steering delivers enhanced road feedback and steering precision.
Audi is offering a choice between two TFSI and three TDI engine versions for the new Audi A5 Sportback. These engines produce between 190bhp and 286bhp of power. Compared with the previous model, Audi claims it has reduced its fuel consumption by as much as 22 per cent, while increasing power output by up to 17 per cent. The top-end S5 featuring quattro and eight-speed tiptronic as standard, accelerates the model from 0 to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds, and up to an electronically governed top speed of 250km/h.
Six-speed manual transmission, seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission or the aforementioned eight-speed tiptronic are available.
Audi says the body of the new A5 Sportback is the lightest in its segment - 15 kilograms lighter than that of the predecessor, with the overall weight 85 kilograms less.
The German carmaker claims the predictive efficiency assistant, which evaluates GPS information from the car’s immediate surroundings, helps to save fuel by giving specific driving advice, which it claims is a unique feature in this segment.
Audi says that collision avoidance assist intervenes if the car needs to drive around an obstacle to avoid an accident. Based on data from the front camera, ACC and radar sensors it computes a recommended driving line within a fraction of a second.
The lineup is complemented by other assistance systems such as turn assist, park assist, cross traffic assist rear, exit warning, camera-based traffic sign recognition, Audi active lane assist and Audi side assist. It has not been announced which of these assistance systems will be standard here in Ireland, when the new A5 and S5 go on sale at the start of 2017.