The second generation of Audi’s handsome A5 range is expected to arrive in time for the 2017 model year, which puts its arrival date sometime in the second half of 2016. This means the current model still has a few more years of shelf life, though a recent refresh means it still looks contemporary when next to rivals like the BMW 3-Series, Lexus IS C and Mercedes-Benz C Class Coupe.
A new report from Automobile reveals some of the details we can expect on the next-generation, 2017 Audi A5, whose development will focus on refinement, lightening measures and vehicle electrification.
The new A5 will ride on an updated version of the MLB platform underpinning the current model. The MLB is the Volkswagen Group’s modular platform for mid- to large-size cars and comes primarily with transversely mounted engines. At Audi, it’s used in everything from the A4 right up to the A8 flagship sedan. The updated version of the MLB, the MLB Evo, was first previewed in Audi’s quattro concept from 2010 and benefits from the increased use of lightweight materials.
This means that the new A5 could weigh in around 220 pounds less than the current model, which has a curb weight of almost 3,600 pounds. For additional weight saving, a hardcore ‘Ultra’ version with special lightweight components is said to be in the works as well.
Current model lines will carry over, with the base model continuing with a 2.0-liter TFSI engine but with output lifted slightly to 225 horsepower. The S5 will stick with a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, with its output tuned to around 335 horsepower, while the successor to the recently launched RS 5 will drop its naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V-8 in favor of Audi’s latest twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter mill. Expect power on this model to reside around 475 horsepower.
A new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is said to be coming, trumping Audi's current S tronic dual-clutch which uses seven forward gears.
The biggest change to the A5, however, will be the availability of an electrified version. Audi will probably go with a plug-in hybrid setup, which it previewed in 2011 with its A5 e-tron quattro concept. This concept used a four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor to drive the front axle and a second electric motor on the rear axle to create a ‘through-the-road’ hybrid all-wheel drive system. Currently, Audi only uses this electric all-wheel drive system in motorsport but the technology will eventually be available in the automaker’s production cars.
With the 2017 Audi A5 set to debut in coupe form late in 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.