2008 Audi A5/S5 Revealed: 2007 Geneva Auto Show
- March 12, 2007
- Audi, New Model Introductions
- Posted by George Peterson
- Comments Off on 2008 Audi A5/S5 Revealed: 2007 Geneva Auto Show
Four years after introducing the Nuvolari concept at 2003’s Geneva show, Audi brought the production reality to the 2007 Geneva show in the A5 and S5 coupe. Audi is heavily expanding their product range, including the Q7, R8, A5/S5, and upcoming Q5. A return to the coupe market with the A5 is part of a strategy for improving image and sales in the States, where sales are expected to begin in November 2007. The A5 range was given a formal introduction in Geneva, with some help from the band Yello (most widely known for the song “Oh Yeah,” used in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). A new Yello song, featured at the intro, will be used for A5 advertising worldwide.
We go round and round on this at AutoPacific and VehicleVoice. Not on the A5 specifically, but on the demand, desirability, design of coupes in the United States. Internally, we have a pro coupe camp and an anti coupe camp. I was once reminded by a wizened old mechanic that “It don’t cost any more to carry around an extra two doors and they come in mighty handy.” Guess I have always followed that adage. In fact, I have concluded over the years that coupes are more of an ego trip for car designers and senior management than providing a solid business case. Oh, I know, great reason for Mustang and MINI, but on the whole the market for coupes is much thinner than the number of coupe offerings available.
The A5 is a handsome car and a welcome addition to Audi’s lineup especially in Europe where coupes have a stronger pull. Sure, A5 will sell pretty well, but it’ll peak within 18-months, stabilize and then begin the inexorable slide downward, just like every sporty coupe in the past.
Yello’s mechanical sound sampling aside, the A5 and S5 should make smart additions to the Audi lineup. These are meant to compete with the BMW 3-Series coupe. The TT keeps its position as a sports car for Audi (competing with BMW’z Z4 and Porsche’s Boxster), while the A5 offers a larger, more comfortable package with seating for four. The A5 gets a long wheelbase and short front overhangs, with a longitudinally mounted engine and either standard front- or optional all-wheel drive. Instead of being based on the current A4, the A5’s underpinnings preview the next A4.
The car introduced in Geneva was to European specifications, but it does tell us what we can expect in the U.S. powertrain lineup. Though Audi is committed to introducing diesels in the States, the A5 is not first in line to offer diesels. The U.S. lineup will include the S5, with its 364HP 4.2L FSI V8, and the A5 3.2, with its 265HP 3.2L FSI V6. The S5 gets a sports suspension, eighteen-inch wheels and tires, and two-stage ESP to get full benefit of its sporting nature.
Luxury Coupe Gets Long List of Bells and Whistles
Along with muscular good looks, aggressive face, and typically high-quality Audi interior, the A5 and S5 will offer the latest luxury and convenience features. A5 gets the latest MMI and a new key system. The new key doesn’t have a typical metal key, but communicates with the car whenever it is in the cockpit. Not only can it start the car without you having to insert a key and turn, but it can store vehicle information. The standard key is a smart key, but the keyless entry and start systems are optional. Bi-xenon cornering lights, LED daytime running lights (like those on the S8), a panoramic sunroof, a rearview camera, DVD navigation, and a Bang & Olufsen developed premium audio system are all among the options list. Not on the list? A hard-drive navigation and music storage system.