Audi A5

The 2016 Audi A5 and S5 models are offered in coupe or cabriolet body styles. A5 models all come with a 2.0L TFSI 4-cylinder engine, with turbocharging and direct injection, which produces 220 hp, while S5 models get a 333-hp, 3.0L supercharged TFSI V6 engine. Quattro all-wheel drive the only drivetrain.

Transmission options are quite different between the two models. Both the A5 coupe and the S5 coupe offer a 6-speed manual gearbox, but the front-wheel-drive cabriolet comes with a continuously variable automatic transmission. A5 models can be optioned with an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, while the S5 is offered with a 7-speed S-tronic automatic.

The entire A5 lineup gets Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system, which sends 60 percent of power to the rear wheels under normal driving, to give these models more of a performance character and a more balanced feel in tight corners. S5 models get a sports differential that helps distribute power to further aid performance.

Cabriolets feature a power-folding acoustic soft top that can be operated at speeds of up to 31 mph; it also has enough thermal insulation for winter use, and special attention has been paid to trunk space. Even when folded, the top allows enough trunk space (10.2 cubic feet) for a couple of small weekend bags. The rear seatbacks can still be folded forward to access more space. The setup also includes LED reading lamps and a heated rear window.

Depending on how much luxury is desired, there are three different trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. S5 models are available only in Premium Plus and Prestige trims.

Premium models of the A5 include a panorama sunroof, heated power mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, heated windshield nozzles, leather upholstery, a power driver's seat, cruise control, 3-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, HomeLink universal remote, iPod adapter and a 10-speaker, 180-watt sound system with auxiliary input and SD card slot. Premium Plus trim adds a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system with 14 speakers, xenon headlamps, LED tail lamps, heated front seats and driver's seat memory settings, among other items.

Key options include the Audi adaptive cruise control, which applies the brakes as necessary to keep a safe following distance, and is packaged together with Audi Side Assist. Heated and ventilated seats are also available. The comfort front seats in the cabriolet circulate warm air at neck level to allow you, perhaps, to have the top down in cooler weather.

The Audi Connect system is also available, utilizing a dedicated Internet connection for the vehicle to form its own Wi-Fi network. The system also works with Audi's hard-disc-based navigation system to allow easy streaming Google Earth imagery for maps, live Google Search and live news, traffic, and weather. The navigation system includes music-storage capability, while the MMI controller is simple and straightforward.

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Editors' First Take

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Audi hosted a glitzy evening reveal ceremony for its second-generation A5 in early June. The proceedings from the company's home in Ingolstadt, Germany were simulcast on the web, and when the silk sheath was finally pulled on the new-for-2017 coupe, after much pomp and circumstance, the moment almost seemed...anticlimactic. Even with the sharp resolution of an HD stream, my initial impression basically amounted to, "Huh. They recycled the design."

Not that I minded. Despite having been on the market for a very long time, to this day the original A5 still catches my eye each time one rolls by. First shown in 2007, the Walter de Silva-penned two-door has aged beautifully, to the point where I actually think it's one of the cleanest, best-proportioned cars designed in my professional lifetime.

Seeing the 2017 A5 up close and in the metal just a few weeks later, I am quickly struck by the fact that my initial impression was wrong. While the two generations have similar profiles and measurements, they're actually very, very different in person. The outgoing model favored simple, occasionally voluptuous surface volumes and details. Not spare by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly restrained.

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