Despite having been on the market for a very long time, to this day the original A5 is still eye catching. First shown in 2007, the Walter de Silva-penned two-door has aged beautifully, to the point where it can be said it’s one of the cleanest, best-proportioned cars designed.
Seeing the 2017 A5 up close, while the two generations have similar profiles and measurements, they’re actually very, very different. The outgoing model favoured simple, occasionally voluptuous surface volumes and details; the new A5 features a plunging nose and more angular details than its predecessor.
By comparison, the 2017 model is both edgier and showier, with loads of surface tension and plenty of deliberate detailing that really pops in the light of day, in particular the undulating “tornado line” on the body side that sharpens up to emphasize the wheel wells. The hood, which used to be essentially smooth, is now sporting four prominent ribs.
The A5’s new nose dives visibly lower and wider thanks to the reimagined single frame grille, scowling xenon headlamps and vertical air guides bracketing the front fascia. Indeed, the car sits lower, but it’s actually not broader, so there’s some eyeball trickery at work. Audi has taken pains to ensure that the new model is more visually distinct from its A4 sibling outside than before, and it shows in elements such as the car’s unique light fixtures and fascias. Up front, this Audi almost looks as much like a Tesla Model S as it does the Ur-A5. To the wind, the A5 doesn’t look like much of anything at all: its coefficient of drag is just 0.25, making it one of the most aerodynamic forms on the road.
Whether you’re more of a fan of the new styling or the old one may come down to your approach to fashion.
On the luxury coupe continuum, this car’s visuals are more dynamic and adventuresome than BMW’s 4 Series, yet they’re far more conservative than the mad slashings of Lexus’ RC.
The new A5’s view is certainly nicer from behind the wheel, too. There’s the not-too-high beltline helping avoid the feelings of claustrophobia that can creep in with some coupes, aided by surprisingly slim A pillars.
The all-new dashboard helps reinforce a feeling of spaciousness, too, a byproduct of its slim design, enabled by an 8.3-inch freestanding central infotainment screen and a long, all-but-uninterrupted band of air vents. Small details including a bezel-less rearview mirror add to the airy nature of the cabin, which is itself slightly larger thanks to the car’s longer wheelbase. The moonroof now slides back properly, too, a welcome improvement over the original A5’s frustrating tilt-only unit.
Cabin materials are all top-notch, as is the available tech, which includes Audi’s optional 12.3-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster display known as the Virtual Cockpit. In fact, the whole interior draws heavily from the new B9-generation A4, which makes sense, as the two ride atop versions of the same MLB EVO modular chassis. Make no mistake, this is the segment’s best-appointed interior.
The popularity of traditional luxury coupes has ebbed thanks to the rise of four-door coupes and the proliferation of crossover SUVs, but slipping behind the wheel of a proper two-door coupe still reveals myriad charms, especially when they’re as good as this Audi.
If you dismissed the 2017 A5 upon first sight because it looked too similar to its precursor, well…know that it’s worth a closer look.
For pricing in Costa Rica and a road test, visit Audi.co.cr