The second generation of Audi’s handsome A5 range is expected to arrive in time for the 2017 model year, which puts its showroom arrival sometime in the second half of 2016, although it may end up being introduced earlier that year. These are our first spy shots of a test mule for the car.
The test mule shows that the 2017 A5 is still at an early stage of development, but we can gather from it that the new model will be similar in size and proportion to the current one, on sale since the 2008 model year. We should be seeing the first prototypes soon as the platform underpinning the car has already been extensively tested.
That platform is Audi’s next-generation version of the MLB (modular longitudinal) platform, which will eventually underpin most of the automaker’s models from the A4 up. The first vehicle to utilize the platform, nicknamed the MLB Evo, is the 2016 Q7
. Other MLB Evo-based models already spotted in the wild include the 2016 A4
and 2018 A8
Previewed in Audi’s Sport quattro concept
from 2013, the new platform uses a combination of ultrahigh-strength steel, aluminum and even some composites to help get weight down. We could be seeing a weight-saving of up to 200 pounds in the new A5. The Sport quattro concept also hints at the styling we can expect for the car.
Audi Sport Quattro Concept - 2013 Frankfurt Motor ShowEnlarge Photo
Current model lines will carry over, with the base model continuing with a 2.0-liter TFSI engine, the S5 with a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 and the RS 5 dropping its naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V-8 in favor of Audi’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter mill. Expect power on this model to reside around the 475-horsepower mark.
Front-wheel drive will remain standard for the 2017 A5 while quattro all-wheel drive will continue to be offered as an option. The standard transmission should be an S tronic dual-clutch unit, possibly with eight forward gears. One of the key benefits of the latest MLB Evo platform is that it has been designed to be compatible with alternative drivetrains. Look for a plug-in hybrid model
, perhaps with a through-the-road hybrid system (e-tron quattro in Audi-speak).
Tech goodies will include LED headlights, an advanced infotainment system with Wi-Fi, a head-up display, and autonomous driving capability
Look for a debut of the 2017 Audi A5 late next year or early 2016. We should expect to see its convertible variant approximately six months later. Further down the track, a new A5 Sportback will also appear though this model, sadly, is expected to remain off limits in the U.S.
Stay tuned for updates as development progresses.____________________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.