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2011 Audi A5 2.0 TFSI Quattro Coupe Review & Test Drive

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‘SLEEK, SEXY AND EFFICIENT’

The new 2011 Audi A5 2.0 TFSI Quattro Tiptronic coupe is sleek, sexy and now more efficient than ever with the addition of an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission.  After gaining immediate traction with its beautiful design, the A5 went on to establish itself as a leader in the luxury performance coupe segment.  I just love getting behind the wheel of the new A5 coupe.

With an overall length of 182.1 inches, the 2011 A5 affords both drivers and passenger’s unmatched interior space, even in the back seats.  Extensive use of high-quality materials and a bevy of high-tech driving aids and convenience options continue to make the Audi A5 a benchmark of the class.  A firm commitment to innovative technologies has enabled a refined suspension built on a lifetime of racing experience to deliver a ride that manages to be both comfortable and capable, offering up the world class handling and razor-sharp response buyers have come to demand from their Audi cars.

Arguably the definitive Audi design of recent years, the A5 presents a low and muscular physique, with an extended flat roofline that slopes down into the trunk, sharply curved contours guiding the eyes along its sleek shape.  Capitalizing on the styling elements that define a sports coupe, the A5 exudes performance and elegance with a tall shoulder line and the steeply raked windshield that matches the angle of the rear C-pillar so beautifully.

The instantly identifiable Audi Singleframe grille dominates the front of the car along with the beautifully cut HID headlamps and LED daytime running lamps.  Down below are foglamps and a splitter to enhance front downforce.  The side view shows the arch of the A and C pillars, flared fenders stuffed nicely with big 18X8 inch tires and alloy wheels, deep side extensions enhancing the handling ability by lowering the center of gravity and in the rear are LED taillights, a spoiler fitted at the end of the trunk lid, diffuser vanes at the rear bumper to favor rear airflow and two exhaust tips cut into the left of the rear bumper.  No other sport coupe, no matter the price, can come close to the beautiful esthetic styling of the A5 coupe.

Continuing onto the inside you’ll see a stylish ergonomic interior designed around you and your passenger’s comfort.  Audi has taken an even greater focus on attractive shapes and precision workmanship to create a space as gorgeous as it is functional.  With high-quality leather and rich real aluminum and veneer trim surrounding you assembled together to the strictest tolerances, it is obvious immediately that there has been no cost spared in interior luxury, personal comfort and innovative automotive high-technology features.

Very comfortable and supportive sport bucket seats come standard, and a driver-oriented and canted center console hosts an exquisitely designed interface, as well as Audi’s industry benchmark third-generation, easy-to-use MMI system.  If optioned, the seven-inch MMI screen is located high on the dashboard to facilitate reading and minimize the amount of time spent looking away from the road.  You are also treated to a sport, leather-wrapped/tilt/telescoping steering wheel and brilliant, easy-to-read rally-style gauges.  In the middle of the instrument cluster is theDriverInformationCenterwith all of the important trip/outside temperature, etc., readouts that you will need for a fun and safe trip.  My premium plus model came with Xenon plus headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, Bluetooth hands-free phone, three-zone climate control, heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, light sensor for the automatic headlights, auto-diming rearview mirror, Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, walnut wood inlays, bright exhaust tips and a front filler panel.

I tested the 2011 A5 coupe with the potent 2.0 TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine.  With a study cast iron block and efficient aluminum cylinder head, the 2.0 TFSI delivers a healthy 211hp at 6,000rpm and 258lb.ft. of torque at just 1,500-4,200rpm.  Audi used direct-injection technology to increase the efficiency of the engine and, as a result, the engine manages an excellent 30mpg/highway with the six-speed manual and 29mpg/highway with the automatic Tiptronic transmission.  The turbocharged engine provides abundant torque, making the A5 capable of 6.5 second sprints to 60mph from a standstill so there is no need to sacrifice true sports coupe performance for everyday fuel economy.

Connecting power via the standard quattro all-wheel-drive system, my 2.0 TFSI turbocharged engine was mated to the excellent new eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox.  The Tiptronic transmission provided me with the ease and smooth shifting of an automatic and the added option of manual gear choice when the desired higher-response was needed by me.

A luxury performance coupe doesn’t live by a powerful engine alone and the ability to have both a smooth ride with precise handling is of utmost importance and the A5 doesn’t disappoint with its four-wheel, truly unique independent suspension system.

Up front is a 5-link setup with upper and lower wishbones, gas-charged shocks, and a tubular anti-roll bar.  The rear independent setup is via trapezoidal links, gas-charged shocks, anti-roll bar and a resiliently mounted subframe to keep noise, vibration and harshness to a minimum level.

You are treated to a smooth, quiet ride at speed with precise handling capabilities on curving roads.  The Servotronic speed-sensitive power steering system is a perfect match for this unique suspension system with very quick responses to your steering inputs.  Just a little tug at the wheel moves the car quickly right or left as you intended it to go.

Quickly and safely slowing you down from speed is an excellent power-assisted braking system.  Up front are 12.8 inch vented discs clamped with large two-piston calipers while the 12.2 inch solid discs in the rear are clamped with large single-piston calipers.  Your braking power and control is enhanced with standard ABS, EBD and ESP.

The test A5 came with 18X8 inch 10-spoke alloy wheels wrapped with 245/40R18 inch all-season radial tires for a smooth ride with excellent grip.

Standard features not mentioned above include electronic cruise-control, dual map lamps, power express up/down windows, power door locks, split folding rear seats with fold-down armrest and dual cupholders, front console with dual cupholders and storage bin, tilting glass panel roof with sunshade, electromechanical parking brake, storage slots in each door, and thick cut-pile carpeting with front and rear floor mats.

Standard safety features include dual threshold airbags for driver/front passenger, driver/front passenger seat-mounted thorax side airbags, driver/front passenger knee airbags, Sideguard curtain airbags, rigid body shell with special energy-absorbing zones, side intrusion protection, anti-theft alarm, front 3-point safety belts automatic pretensioners and load limiters, rear 3-point safety belts with automatic pretensioners, Audi Backguard system Valet key and the LATCH system for child seats.

The new 2011 Audi A5 coupe is one of the best looking, best equipped, best handling and most luxurious of all mid-size sport coupes on the market today.  Audi just keeps them coming!

COPYRIGHT:2011:HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base A5 $36,900.00/ As-Tested $46,245.00 with the Premium Plus Options
  • Engine: 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged 4-cylinder 211 horsepower @ 4300 rpm / 258 ft-lbs torque @ 1500 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 108.2in.
  • Total length: 182in.
  • Total width: 79in.
  • Total height: 54in.
  • Track: f/r-62.5/62in.
  • Headroom: f/r-39/36in.
  • Legroom: f/r-41.3/31.7in.
  • Fuel tank: 16.8 gallons
  • Curb weight: 3,682lbs. with Tiptronic automatic transmission
  • 0-60 mph: 6.6 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 21mpg/city, 29mpg/highway

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