The chassis is one of the very best aspects of Audi’s sporty, mid-size model line. It spontaneously adapts when the vehicle enters a curve; the A5 models are superbly stable, safe and nearly neutral at their impressive cornering limits. Its unruffled straight-line stability and excellent ride comfort make it an outstanding choice for long-distance drives.
The vehicle’s width lays the foundation for these remarkable attributes. Its track is 1,590 mm (5.22 ft) at the front and 1,577 mm (5.17 ft) at the rear (A5 Sportback: 1,575 mm [5.17 ft]). The wheelbase of the Coupé or Cabriolet measures 2,751 mm (9.03 ft); that of the Sportback 2,810 mm (9.22 ft).
Large areas of the front suspension are made of lightweight aluminum. This applies to the integrated support for the engine and axle, which is firmly bolted to the front end to boost rigidity; it is likewise true of the mounting bracket which connects the upper trailing arm with the body, and of the pivot bearing as well as the five trailing arms per wheel. A tubular anti-roll bar also cuts down on weight. The five-link suspension design can separately handle longitudinal and lateral forces. Their bearings are rigid when crosswise, fostering sporty precision; on the other hand, the bearings are remarkably pliable when lengthwise.
New technology: electromechanical power steering
Very efficient, electromechanical power steering is a new addition to the A5 family. Because it requires no energy whatsoever for straight-line performance, this technology conserves (depending on the respective engine) as much as 0.3 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. This new steering, which adjusts its involvement to suit a vehicle’s speed, can work in conjunction with Audi active lane assist, a new assistance system.
With a gear ratio of 16.1: 1, the electromechanical power steering is sportily direct. The arrangement in concentric circles of the steering rack and the servo drive render the power steering’s layout very compact; a steering box beneath the steering wheel conveys the driver’s input directly to the wheels. Feedback from the road is spontaneous and responsive: traction forces and disruptive forces are practically imperceptible. The A5 models’ turning circle is approximately 11.4 meters (37.40 ft).
The rear axle is based on Audi’s principle of the self-tracking trapezoidal link, which unites a compact layout with excellent drivability and comfort. A steel subframe connected to the body via hydraulic bearings constitutes the ultra-strong backbone. Two hollow trapezoidal links, the wheel carriers, the overhead control arms and the tie rods are made of aluminum; a special lightweight section serves as an anti-roll bar.
The springs are supported directly by the wheel carriers and are housed separately from the twin-tube, gas-pressurized shock absorbers to facilitate particularly calibrated performance. The shock-absorber tuning and the arrangement of the rear trailing arms are more finely tuned than ever before – which enhances not only the ease but also the precision of handling.
Upon request, Audi will supply a sport suspension or an S sport suspension, which lowers the vehicle body by ten millimeters (0.39 in). Another alternative is the chassis with adaptive damper control. The responsiveness of the CDC (Continuous Damping Control) shock absorbers is managed by a control unit, which considers a given road’s condition, a driver’s style and the current mode of Audi drive select. Employing great amounts of data, the computer individually readjusts the damping forces for each wheel in millisecond cycles.
The Audi A5 is factory-fitted with forged, 17-inch aluminum wheels in a classic 6-arm design and fitted with 225/50 tires. There is a wide array of options: 17 versions as well as three different winter wheels are available, including exclusive solutions such as a 20-spoke design and a machine-polished titanium finish. Diameters go up to 20 inches, depending on the engine in question; tires are 265/30. Winter wheels of either 17 or 18 inches in diameter are available.
A tire pressure indicator and a repair kit are standard; an ultra-compact spare wheel is optional. Some tires also have run-flat properties.
Powerful brakes are located behind the large wheels. Depending on the engine, brake discs are as large as 320 millimeters (12.60 in) at the front and 300 millimeters (11.81 in) at the rear; the brake pads generate a high coefficient of friction. The ventilated front discs ensure good heat dissipation; hundreds of tiny metal cubes connect the two disc halves.
On the top-of-the-line engines, the brake calipers feature a composite design; the piston body made of aluminum removes heat very well. The calipers are lightweight yet extremely rigid; the brake discs and cover plates similarly weigh very little.
The brake light operates adaptively; at maximum braking it flashes rapidly to warn the drivers of following vehicles. In conjunction with the electromechanical steering, the electronic stabilization program (ESP) aids drivers with braking and countersteering whenever both tires on one side encounter a slippery surface.
With front-wheel drive: ESP with electronic limited slip differential
Front-wheel-drive versions of the A5 feature ESP with electronic limited slip differential. If the system’s control unit detects that the inside front wheel is at risk of spinning while the vehicle corners at a high speed, then the control unit will moderately brake that wheel. Surplus torque subsequently flows to the outside wheel. At the same time, surplus drive traction helps the driver turn the car just slightly into the corner. The A5 can thus traverse corners in a precise, agile, stable and nearly neutral manner.
Another high-tech option for the Audi A5 is Audi drive select. It allows the driver to influence the gas pedal’s characteristics, the automatic transmission’s shift points and power-steering guidance. The driver can press a button to switch these systems among four different modes: comfort, auto, dynamic and efficiency, which is new. Efficiency mode incorporates the air conditioning as well as the optional adaptive cruise control or cruise control – and helps the driver to boost efficiency even further.
If the A5 is equipped with the MMI navigation system, then an additional mode, individual, is included. It allows the driver to specify, within certain limits, their very own profile of preferred settings. The following optional components are likewise managed by Audi drive select: the sport differential (for the 3.0 TDI quattro, 3.0 TSI quattro and S5), damper control and dynamic steering.
Thanks to its superposition gear, dynamic steering can adjust the steering ratio by nearly 100 percent; it is also compact and lightweight. Under city-driving conditions, the ratio is very direct; at high speeds, an indirect steering ratio promotes straight-line stability. When necessary at the vehicle’s cornering limit, the system countersteers slightly – which, in practically every situation, will reduce understeer or oversteer caused by change of load.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.