However, for a variant that whispers its intent, the unassuming A5 fits the aforementioned bill. And when the redesigned, more angular A5 Coupe is dressed in Gotland green and wearing optional Audi Sport 19-inch alloys, it seems more of a style statement than the last word in performance.
After all, you can step up to the S5, or wait for the upcoming RS5, for that. What your $81,500 does buy you is a four-seat coupe with a cabin that matches Audi status quo. Its simplistic, yet highly sophisticated approach feels upmarket. It’s ergonomically sound and the standard Virtual Cockpit is brilliant by being intuitive, not intrusive.
The same could be said for the 185kW/370Nm EA888 four-pot turbo. It’s linear and largely lag free as the rapid-fire seven-speed S tronic ’box keeps you in the meaty mid-range torque. With a 5.8sec 0-100km/h time and grippy, Haldex-based quattro all-wheel drive, it’s ruthlessly effective on the open road.
You need to chuck it into a corner in a spirited fashion to get it rotating, but with the self-locking centre diff and torque vectoring, it will hang on and shoot you out the other side. The progress is as staggering as it is unassuming.
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The suspension soaks up the road with aplomb (sans adaptive dampers), while extra pitch isn’t a hindrance. Ego-stroking aside, the A5 is benign. In terms of feedback, it’s about as tactile as a partner filled with scorn. So while it is potent and capable, it’s clinical in its execution.
However, if you want to surprise your mates on a twisty road and look good while doing it, the ‘non-performance’ A5 is a bit of a devil wearing Prada.
2017 Audi A5 20 TFSI Quattro Sport specs:
Engine: 2.0-litre I4 turbo