A5 Coupe Boosts Audi Lineup
THE RIDE: Two-door, four-passenger 2008 Audi A5 coupe. DOWN THE ROAD: Available in two trims, the all-new car from the German automaker offers an exhilarating ride, putting enormous power at the driver's command. The quattro all-wheel-drive system makes the A5 remarkably athletic. TECH & PERFORMANCE: A 3.2-liter V-6 engine pumps out 265 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 243 pounds-feet of torque at 3250 rpm. The FSI direct injection engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic or manual, which can take off from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 6.1 seconds. A five-link front and an independent trapezoidal-link rear suspension absorb serious bumps with skill and self-assurance. The coupe's on-center and razor-sharp feel is conveyed credibly via a speed-sensitive, rack-and-pinion power steering system. When you need to stop, the car's 12.6-inch ventilated front and 11.8-inch rear disc brakes come into play. LOOK & FEEL: The muscular stance of the A5 is evident in the single-frame grille with the centered and familiar four-ring Audi emblem, large air intakes, right-angled headlights and wide tail lamps and dual exhaust outlets. The Misano Red Pearl effect ($750 option) on the exterior of my test car drew curious and appreciative looks, especially in parking lots. The interior is sumptuous and top-notch, as is expected of an Audi. The droplet-shaped surrounds for the speedometer and tachometer show that designers gave attention to every detail, resulting in a superb fit and finish. The 10-way power front leather seats are roomy and comfortable. Brushed aluminum trim on the doors, rear-seat beltline and near the shifter knob add to the car's visual appeal.SAFETY FIRST: Dual front and side airbags, curtain side airbag for both rows, four-wheel antilock brakes, antiskid system, stability and traction control, front and rear three-point safety belts and daytime running lights are standard. OUT THE DOOR: $41,200, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges. Thrill-seekers can opt for the $2,900 S Line sport package, which comes with a stiffer sport suspension, S Line bumpers, grille, badge on fenders and on aluminum doorsills, summer performance tires and black headliner, among other goodies. BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, 245/40R18 alloy; wheelbase, 108.3 inches; length, 182.1 inches; weight, 3,737 pounds; fuel capacity, 16.9 gallons; highway, 27 mpg; city, 18 mpg. WHY DIG IT: The addition of the A5 serves to boost Audi's lineup of performance-oriented luxury vehicles. Its exclusive quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system, coupled with a first-rate gearbox and an opulent cabin, should push sales figures up higher for the German carmaker this year.
Nitish S. Rele is an advertising staff writer for the Tampa Tribune.
Middle school vice principal, sixth-grade teacher victims in Brandon double murder/suicide shoot-out