The Audi A5: The Design

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April 16, 2007

Source: Audi AG

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Quite simply a desirable coupe

Coupes have always been special in the way they bring together the joy of driving and the fun of mobility itself. A coupe is a car that also says something about your personality; it is an expression of independence and a zest for life, of individuality and an enjoyment of sports performance.

For coupe customers, emotion plays a major role in their choice of car; the most important reason to buy, in the case of a sporty two-door car, is the design. And on that point the Audi A5 wins you over at first sight – this coupe is clearly a character actor of the automobile world. It takes Audi’s progressive and stylish design language to new heights. “The Audi A5 is the most beautiful car I have ever designed,” says Audi chief designer Walter de’Silva, now Head of Volkswagen Group Design, with absolute conviction.

Classic elegance, harmony of proportions

For Walter de’Silva, the Audi A5 is a very important car: it combines sportiness, power, sophistication and elegance – the core elements of the Audi brand’s genetic code – in a highly concentrated formula. The sporty, low silhouette, the few but very precisely drawn lines, the expressive front face, and the equally distinctive tail end yield a wholly desirable coupe.

“The A5 is of course a very powerful and superlatively sporty car,” says Walter de’Silva. “Nevertheless, it doesn’t come across as the least bit aggressive or arrogant.” There is a classic elegance and a harmony of proportions, lines and surfaces that set the Audi brand’s new two-door model apart.

The coupe’s proportions, for instance, are characterised by a very wide and low stance, a long wheelbase with a short front overhang and a long, flowing transition from the C pillar to the short rear. “It is especially the way the shoulder line extends, with the back roof pillar flowing into it and the long transition to the short rear, which gives the A5 the identity of a typical gran turismo, a sophisticated touring sports car,” explains Walter de’Silva.

Lines and surfaces play with light and shadows

An expression of determination characterises the features of the front end: the single-frame grille is the striking hallmark of the new Audi model, where it is interpreted in a somewhat sleeker manner and directed more towards the road. The slim, rectangular headlights are angled slightly towards the centre and together with the large air inlets they reinforce the impression of breadth in the car’s face-on view. The bonnet is characterised by two distinct feature lines, ridges that extend down in a V-shape from the end of the bonnet, continuing into the bumper. These feature lines thus unite all elements of the front end and underscore the presence of the single-frame radiator grille.

The same holds true for the rear. Here again, the design emphasises the width of the car. Distinct horizontal lines and wide, powerfully styled tail lights, whose shape seems to push outwards, underscore the A5’s sporting intent. This impression is enhanced by the spoiler moulded into the boot lid and the rear diffuser highlighted by its contrasting paint finish and framed by the exhaust tailpipes.

Visual tribute to the Ur-quattro and the Audi R8

The side line is dominated by the mighty trapezoidal C pillar. This not only emphasises the car’s sporty appeal, but also creates a look reminiscent of the legendary Audi Ur-quattro. A second stylistic tribute to Audi’s four-wheel drive pioneer model and to the new high-performance sports car, the Audi R8, can be found in the marked outline of the wheel arches, with their curving contours drawn into the shoulder line. Another aspect that perfectly reflects the Audi design philosophy is the ratio of two thirds car body to one third glass surfaces.

The typical Audi dynamic line in the lower body section gives the A5 an energetic stance, even when stationary. Added to this is the pronounced three-dimensionality of the Audi A5’s surfaces. They play with light and shadows, bringing its shape to life and endowing the body with the sculpted intensity that makes Audi design unique. The grille surround and the window frames in anodised aluminium are additional highlights of the A5 look.

Headlights show devotion to detail

Audi’s customary devotion to detail is particularly evident in the headlights: their elaborate design reflects the precision and advanced engineering that characterise the entire vehicle. The individual chambers of the xenon plus headlight modules, accommodating the xenon main and dipped beam headlights, the turn signals, and the parking lights, are separated by stylish chrome webs. The daytime running lights are a dramatic feature consisting of a strip of eight light-emitting diodes running along the lower edge of the headlights and rising to the outside. They are easy to make out even in poor light, thus improving safety. They also guarantee the Audi A5 a clear and unmistakeable look.

Masterpieces in cast aluminium

A range of stylishly designed wheels plays an important role in the distinct appearance of the Audi A5. The standard version of the coupe is already equipped with striking 17-inch forged lightweight wheels of 6-arm design and with 225/50 R 17 tyres. Six alternative wheels of up to 19 inches are available as optional extras. The 10-spoke V design or the 5-arm Y design, for instance, are true masterpieces in cast aluminium.

The new bow-type door handles are solid to grip and have been optimised for minimum wind noise. Extensive wind tunnel testing was also needed to perfect the details of the exterior mirrors with integrated LED turn signals. They not only look outstandingly elegant, but their especially added grooves and ribs mean that hardly any dirt is deposited on them.

Article Index:

At-a-GlanceDesignInteriorBodyEnginesRunning GearEquipmentCustomizationAudi S5S5 Engine and Running GearS5 Design and Interiors

Photo Galleries: Audi A5 / S5
AudiWorld Discussion Forum: Audi A5 / S5

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