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2010 Audi A5 Introduction

The Audi A5 and the high-performance Audi S5 are mid-size coupes and convertibles, larger than the Audi TT. The A5 is so gorgeous it has won design awards for its looks alone. A handsome, distinctive shape identifies the A5 from virtually any angle, with flowing curves bringing musculature to sleek, aerodynamic forms and arresting light patterns. Viewed from behind there's a chance of mistaking an A5 for a British GT, but from any other angle it's unmistakably Audi.

Changes for 2010 are found under that beautiful exterior, including new engine choices.

The A5 and S5 are grand touring cars designed to cover lots of ground at high speed while coddling a pair of occupants. They seat two-plus-two; the rear seats are for the occasional adult passengers or for bringing small kids along. The A5 involves the driver physically, audibly, and mentally though never to the point of making it a chore or less than inviting. The Audi S5 can be hustled down virtually any road at a good clip. These are big cars, however, so they don't behave like small sports cars.

Audi interiors have been racking up awards for a long time and the A5 is in the same mold. It has the features expected, good ergonomics, a central interface system that won't drive you to cursing, and it's all assembled to a high standard using appropriate materials. Despite the standard all-wheel drive it also has reasonable trunk space, so you can enjoy a road trip of just about any length or destination.

The A5 delivers confidence and luxury in a package not likely to be seen at every intersection and very likely to come across as a good value. The S5 delivers more performance and luxury, at a higher price, yet still represents a good value for the money.

A5 competes with the BMW 3 Series and 6 Series coupes and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe, but the A5's style and capabilities are such that it might also be shopped against the Jaguar XK or Porsche 911. All of these are terrific cars, but only the 911 can match the Audi A5 or S5 with the availability of all-wheel drive, and with the Porsche there would be a substantially higher price. Quattro all-wheel drive comes on all A5 models.

New for 2010 is the addition to the line of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This not only offers buyers a choice with higher fuel economy, but also at a significantly lower initial price, the lowest priced 2010 A5 is $4,700 less than the entry model for 2009. EPA fuel economy numbers for the Coupe with the four-cylinder engine and manual transmission are 22 mpg City, 30 mpg Highway, and for the Cabriolet with the four-cylinder engine, Multitronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-drive, the figures are 23/30 mpg.

The 3.2-liter V6, previously the standard A5 engine, continues in the A5 Coupe but not the Cabriolet. The A5 Coupe 3.2-liter engine produces 265 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque and comes with the Tiptronic six-speed automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive; the V6 is no longer available with a manual transmission.

Also new for 2010 is the introduction of a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with S tronic seven-speed dual-clutch transmission for the 2010 S5 Cabriolet. The 2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet features top-down motoring with 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque on tap. With direct injection, a two-stage intake, and dual intercoolers, the S6 Cabrio's 3.0-liter supercharged V6 is both powerful and efficient, and is EPA-rated at 17/26 mpg.

The S5 Coupe features the 4.2-liter V8, with 354 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, and is available with a six-speed manual transmission or the Tiptronic.

Finally, there have been changes in trim levels, option packages, some features, and wheel designs for 2010.

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