In finding a car that one would gladly live with for a few years, one looks at design, performance, features, and value. Well perhaps not many celebrities would place too much importance on the value part of this equation. But it is nice to know that if you were to own an A5 you would be sharing your wheels of choice with Katy Perry, Anne Hathaway, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens.
The A5 that was launched in 2008 and is arguably one of Audi’s prettiest car, earlier this year it was given a few revisions to freshen up what is a real head-turner. Gone are the rhinestone LED lights in place of the much classier and refined tube version of the LED technology that is now standard. A start-stop system and the recuperation system come standard with all engine-transmission configurations, which incidentally helps to save fuel. The driving dynamics have been improved with a new electromechanical power steering, also playing its part in saving fuel. I was please to note the improved feedback through the steering wheel, offering a better driving experience.
Admit it, its cool that this car has been selected by some of Hollywood’s finest, many Audi drivers would say that they are not the type of people who seek attention but you only have to look at the R8, TT and new S4 models to dismiss this myth. Audis are hot and Jeannie D of Top billing would agree, driving a white 2.0L Turbo model herself.
Audi’s head of design himself has said that he designed the best looking car of his career when unveiling the A5 model. I must admit that in banter with many of my fellow car-loving friends, we all agreed that the A5 is a design success. I wince when manufactures chop off the roof of their coupe models to make way for their wind-blowing drop-tops. The design is compromised and form is sacrificed for function, leaving the car looking less fluid. And I do think the A5 looks better in coupe form. But there are always pros and cons, and being able to retract a traditional canvas roof in a matter of 15 seconds to reveal the sky, is the pro you pay for a very subjective con. You won’t be buying a convertible if you don’t want to be seen and I loved driving this car for just that reason.
If pushed, I’ll admit I don’t think I’m bad to look at, and on occasion enjoy getting some attention, but when driving the A5 Convertible I even got whistled at… and it was not just for the whistle of the car’s turbo-engine!
What is most memorable about the A5 is the experience one gets when driving this car. It is swift with the 2.0l turbo now upgraded to a 155kw engine, and a whip-lashing 350 Nm of torque at 1500 to 4200 rpm. It is very reassuring and solid when the door is closed and the brake is engaged. The feel of the switches is sexy, and visually everything exudes strength, and you know it is going to last. The A5 has a sexy muscular look to it, masculine in the same way that Sean Connery epitomised James Bond. It has nuances of American muscle cars but it is in no way as brash. It arrives like a fine scent, rather than the smell of sweat that wafts from an American V8. With an unladen weight of over 1700 kg, the A5 is a heavy car, and you can feel it when you pull off. There is a flat spot in the rev-range from 800 Rmp to 1490 rpm – where you are reminded that you are driving a 2.0l and the turbo is on holiday – until it whistles into exhilarating action at the 1500-rpm point.
The ride is supple, but with a strong level of grip the car will oversteer at the limit like all front-wheelers, yet it is very sure-footed on the road. There is very minimal scuttle-shake through the cabin on rougher road surfaces.
The A5 is a big car and can easily accommodate four adults in great comfort – much like those hotel rooms in Las Vegas - but with less chance of getting anyone into trouble. With the wind deflector up, your hairdo is in safe hands, with no chance of looking like Tina Turner after a 2-hour live stage performance, but your adrenalin could be as high if you fly like the wind. Seal the roof and A5 does a great job of blocking out any elements and makes for a perfect place to play Debussy at full volume. The car can be specced with a more advanced canvas roof that promises to block out even more of the noises around you, but this will cost you!
I was very happy with the driving position and electronic features of the car, and I can’t help but mention that there is a certain pleasure in pushing or turning one button and getting an instant reaction – air, volume, etc. Audi’s new driver interface system has opened the buffet for all sorts of options in terms of the car’s functioning. Extensive options are good but it can be a bit like operating the new A380 airbus – very cool yet quite complicated. With time even my grey matter got the hang of it all but I smile dubiously thinking about the few A5 drivers who will ever take full advantage of these mod cons simply because they were unaware of them and how they work.
But I loved the car, as do the stars!
Add a Comment