By on July 13, 2011

The A5 is a crucial element of Audi’s fashion-nugget appeal, and these things have to move with the times lest the times move them. Post-update, the A5 now looks far more like its smallest (and to be fair, its newest) sibling, the A1… at least around the all-important headlights. The big news under the skin is that the old V8 has left the building, as the S5 will now be powered by the S4’s supercharged 3 liter V6. There’s also a new electro-mechanical steering system, active brake leveling, a new middle diff on AWD models and a newly-available rear “sport differential.” It’s not yet clear how many of these upgrades and options the US market will be offered (here’s one hint: we won’t get the slick four-door “Sportback” version you see in the gallery), but really, with a car like this don’t the pictures say everything? I’m not saying the A5 is a car people buy solely for its looks, but… oh, who am I kidding?

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22 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: A5 Is Alive Edition...”

  • avatar

    Why all Audi cars look the same? Almost same look as 10 years ago make these cars boring.

    • 0 avatar

      Think you are confusing a “brand look” with looking the same. I guess BMWs look “the same” too as they still have the BMW grill design they have had for decades. A 2001 Audi looks very different than a 2011. The new Chrysler 300 looks more like the current gen Audis than a 2001 Audi, almost to the point of copying. I think it’s a conservative, classic look and a way better design philosophy than the “look at me! look at me!” drastic redesigns that the Americans and Japanese do every 5 years.

  • avatar

    it’s called “SUCCESS”

    BMW does it to buy obviously they had Chris Bangle to set the tone ages ago

    why radically change something that does so well? The Audi signature shape is wildly successful. Why mess with it?

    It looks nice if a bit conservative but I’m not fishing for 4,000lb FWD personal coupes either…

  • avatar

    I for one cannot stand those ridiculous fake air vents on either side of the radiator. (Look at the solid black plastic behind the ‘mesh grill’) Out on the street, its just cheap and tacky, like anything else fake – oversized exhaust pipes, useless spoilers, ‘ground effects’ aero add-ons, etc.

    • 0 avatar

      Just how stupid would it look without those holes? Hm?

      • 0 avatar

        Uh, could they at least be functional?

      • 0 avatar

        Those fake vents are now making the rounds at Infiniti, and they look even worse and more obvious there. I think the worst, however, is on the rear of a new Mini; just beneath the bumper, there is that same black cross-hatched fake vent. I was sitting behind one at a light yesterday and was wondering why good designers feel like they can crap up a car with plastic. Its not the 80’s anymore.

        I’m pretty sure the hotter versions of Audi cars have ‘real’ vents at those locations. The plastic coverings are just for looks on the lesser versions, and apparently will stay for several generations of the vehicles because their customers don’t know or care. (Doesn’t say much about the target owner for a new Audi.) On a related topic, even the slowest A4 has a speedometer that still reads to 180 mph. I think the word is ‘adolescent’.

    • 0 avatar

      Most cars these days have non-functional sporty body work and the germans are by far the lesser of the offenders. I can overlook that fake mesh grill as subtle body flair while I cannot overlook the fake hood scoops and fake exhaust pipes (OBVIOUSLY fake on the IS-F) that the japanese tend to slap on their cars.

  • avatar

    I think it is a sharp looking car…which perhaps is Ed’s point. I saw lots of the four-door A5s in Germany last year…they look fantastic blasting down the road.

  • avatar

    The A5 is undoubtedly the best looking Audi in the lineup – it makes me look every time I see one in traffic. To me the driving experience falls well short of the BMW 3 coupe and the price of the S5 is about 10K too high. However, a the base 4 cylinder turbo is decent value for what is an undeniably great looking car.

    • 0 avatar

      I love the current A5, but I do think is very expensive. Not even the 4 cyl is a value when nicely equipped. The starting price of $37K is with manual and no LEDs. A fully loaded A5 Prestige with S-line package goes for $50K!!!! with 211hp???
      The current CC turns heads as much as the A5 and costs like $10K less with a 280hp VR6!!!
      I’m waiting to get my hands on a used 2010 A5. The bad news is that they don’t lose value to much they cost as much as a new one!!

  • avatar

    I think the A6 is newer than the A1, and that it looks more like the A6.

    Whereas the Sportback just looks like crap.

  • avatar

    What’s wrong with this picture is that at some point, with no design training or work experience and questionable taste, Michael Karesh will insist on doing a visual crit on it that nobody wants to read;
    -because they all made up their minds the microsecond they saw the photos.

    -all while just writing the whole [ongoing] disconnect off as, “Well that’s just how I see it.”; as if that somehow magically replaces said (lack of*(taste, experience or training)).

    (what was it the one writer guy said about, “When writing a woman, I think of a man and then I just take away all reason and accountability.”?)

  • avatar

    Very nice looking car. The current body style looks very nice on the road as well.

    I would probably consider the A5 and the A4 over any Mercedes at the moment.

    The technological gimmickry is a turn-off, but I might overlook that … as long as I had sufficient cash reserves to get me through any electro-mechanical mishaps.

    Not my present situation, but things could change.

    • 0 avatar

      There is a silver lining: the A5 has really held up nicely as far as electrical gremlins are concerned. Admittedly anecdotal, but I have a friend with a 2009 and 60,000 miles and outside of oil changes and a set of brakes/rotors the car hasn’t seen the shop.

  • avatar

    Why not let the A7 be the 4 door in the lineup?

    Otherwise, the A5 is (my opinion) one of the few cars anywhere worthy of being bought for it’s looks if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s just bloody gorgeous for a car complying with so many mandates.

    I don’t much care for how it drives, though. Even is S form. The now ancient 3 coupe is still way ahead on that front. As is the (admittedly much pricier) CL, for different reasons. And the 911.

  • avatar

    Not sure if I like the redsign…

    Also, I don’t like the hatchback at all. Maybe that’s cause it’s available over here but I’ve seen them on the road and they don’t look that special. The coupe OTOH is a different story.

  • avatar

    The current car looks much more aggressive. The new headlights are more elegant, but less aggressive and the new LED design is too much. This front end should have been the re-freshed A4 not A5. Fortunately we Americans have one more year left with the current design and current V8.

  • avatar

    Glad I went with the 2011 A5, and didn’t wait for the 2012. The marketing reasons for the facelift are understandable, but they’ve just taken D’Silva’s masterpiece and popped an A1 (or new A3, as shown in Geneva) nose on it. Not making it any better, just different…
    I think the value of mine just increased.

  • avatar

    My heart skipped a beat when I saw photo A5facelift6. The white convertible is TDI powered. I bet THAT’s not coming to the States.


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