Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Audi A5

INGOLSTADT, Germany — Audi wasn't banking on revealing its new A5 coupe for another two weeks, but a series of photographs leaked onto the Internet overnight have quickly squashed the plan that would have seen the stylish new two-door unveiled in all its glory for the first time at the Geneva auto show on March 6.

audi a5The photographs, which appeared on several automotive Web sites, show the exterior of the new A5 from a number of different angles in a studio setting. Styled by ex-Audi design boss Walter de'Silva, the new car boasts clear hints from the German carmaker's second-generation TT coupe, boasting a prominent grille, heavy shoulder line and deep character lines along the rockers.

At the same time, the A5 also shares various elements with the larger A6 sedan, including the shape of its headlamps, surfacing treatment and rear-end look. Inspiration for the new coupe is said to have come from the well-received Nuvolari concept shown back in 2004.

The photographs also expose the A5's interior, which appears to have been lifted from the A6, but with Audi's MMI (Multi Media Interface) rotary controller moved to the dashboard from its usual position on the center console.

The exact origin of the leaked photographs is unknown at this stage, although the number plate worn by the car in question suggests they may have come from a German rental-car company brochure. Audi traditionally places an Ingolstadt number plate on cars featured in its official press photographs, but the A5 in the pictures has a number plate from Hamburg.

The A5 is the first Audi model to benefit from a new platform structure that goes under the internal code name B8. It has been developed with improved weight distribution and steering response in mind. Among the engines planned to power the new coupe is Audi's 255-horsepower 3.2-liter V6, and, as indicated by the badges on the rear of the car featured in the leaked photographs, a 225-hp 3.0-liter diesel V6.

Rumors suggest an S6 variant of the new car will appear at the New York auto show in April, powered by a 340-hp 4.2-liter V8 engine.

© Source: article on insideline
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