1 Oct 2007
AUDI’S A5 is essentially the 2008 B8-series A4 in coupe guise. Its main job is to tackle the Mercedes-Benz CLK and BMW 3 Series Coupe models, and offers a sleek two-door silhouette that highlights Audi’s refocus on performance models.
The high-performance V8-powered manual S5 Quattro arrived first in Australia in October 2007, with the 3.2-litre V6 petrol front-drive automatic A5 sibling shortly afterwards.
The S5 was powered by a direct-injection 4.2-litre V8 that pumped 260kW of power and 440Nm of torque to all four wheels through a six-speed manual transmission and Audi's Quattro AWD system.
In the second quarter of 2008, the softer-riding, front-drive A5 was joined by another variant using the same engine but Quattro AWD and a dual-clutch DSG gearbox.
It was followed by a base model powered by a 1.8-litre direct-injection four-cylinder with 125kW and 250Nm sending drive to the front wheels through the CVT gearbox.
In late 2008, a high-performance 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 joined the engine line-up, delivering 176kW and an impressive 500Nm. The power and torque was transmitted to the quattro drivetrain through an automatic transmission with paddle-shifters.
In late 2009 Audi released a Cabriolet version of the S5 Coupe, which ditched two cylinders for a supercharged TFSI V6 unit, offering 245kW, 440Nm and a 24 per cent fall in fuel consumption over the V8 coupe.
In early 2010 Audi launched the A5 Sportback as a four-door A5 Coupe with a longer wheelbase, a tailgate and a lower entry price.
Two versions were available at launch, the 2.0TFSI quattro and 3.0 TDI quattro, with the S5 Sportback and front-drive entry-level variants coming later in 2010.
The A5 range was crowned in September 2010 by the RS5 coupe, identifiable by its gaping air intakes, bulging wheelarches and large twin exhausts flanking the rear diffuser.
Powered by a hand-built, direct-injected 331kW V8 that revved to 8500RPM and delivered up to 430Nm, the RS5 sent power through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to an updated version of Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system.