New Audi A5 Coupe Coming To The U.S. In The Spring.
“Audi’s original A5 forced the likes of BMW and Mercedes to raise their game”
BRIGHTON, England – Audi’s new A5 and S5 Sportback coupes boast strong performance and cutting edge technology and will go on sale in the U.S. in the Spring, although they are already being driven on European roads.
Prices for U.S. buyers have yet to be decided, but are likely to start at just over $40,000 before tax.
In the U.S. the A5 is powered by a 2.0 liter, 252 hp four-cylinder engine with a 7-speed automatic gearbox, and the S5 Sportback’s V6 motor produces 354 hp and has an 8 speed speed auto box. The latter will blast from rest to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
The A5, and the larger A7 coupes, show that Audi can do risky stylish car design, as well as the bread-and-butter, under-stated conservative looks of its top selling A4, A6, and A8 sedans. The styling of the new A5 is not very different from the original ones, which were well received by the media.
In Europe there is a wide range of engines both gasoline and diesel with power ranging from 190 hp up to the S5’s 354 hp. In the U.S., Audi will have just the two options to fight the competition from the BMW 4 Series, Infiniti Q60 and Lexus 60. And now there is the new Mercedes E class coupe, set to debut at the Detroit Car Show next month and go on sale in the U.S. in late summer.
Tim Urquhart, analyst with IHS Automotive, said the original A5 was very desirable and sold very well, but the this second-generation iteration is an evolutionary design and will have less of an impact.
The latest A5 technology includes four-wheel drive and driver aids like offering a warning if a car is overtaking in your blind sport, or if the car starts to meander out of its lane. There is also automatic braking assist, plus traffic jam assist, which relieves drivers in slow-moving traffic up to 40 mph by assuming the tasks of braking and accelerating the car, and can also temporarily take charge of steering. Collision avoidance assist intervenes if the car needs to drive around an obstacle to avoid an accident. Based on data from the front camera and radar sensors, it computes a recommended driving line within a faction of a second. The A5/S5 also have the latest in adaptive cruise control, and all these developments represents building blocks on the way to eventual full autonomy.
Urquhart said the BMW 4 Series is the hot competition in this sector, while the new Mercedes might well trump that.
“Audi’s original A5 forced the likes of BMW and Mercedes to raise their game,” Urquhart said.
According to IHS Auto data, the A5 and its derivatives started strongly in 2010 with global sales of 44,776, but slowly slid down to an estimated 18,998 this year. Sales are forecast to jump to 40,458 in 2017 and gently move down to just over 31,000 in 2020. The BMW 4 Series peaked at 68,482 in 2014, moved down to an estimated 42,604 in 2016 and will likely dip to just over 37,000 by 2020.
The new Mercedes E class coupe will sell close to 27,000 in 2017, peak at nearly 32,000 in 2018 and drop to just over 26,000 in 2020.
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