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WORLD PREMIERE: Audi A5 Facelift — RS Looks are Now Standard

The current-gen Audi A5 is a great looking car. Even when compared with some of its newer rivals, it’s still such a stunner. So it’s not exactly a car in need of a facelift. It got one anyway, though, as Audi is currently moving through its lineup and facelifting everything, with a bit of hit-or-miss success. Some have looked great (A4), some have looked not so great (Q7). This new Audi A5 facelift is one that looks great.

While all of the brand’s recent facelifts have been given RS-like styling, which somewhat cheapens the Audi Sport brand, the Audi A5 is the only one that seems deserving of it. Because the A5 is so good looking to begin with, in any body style, the sportier new look works really well.

 

Honestly, the majority of the Audi A5 Facelift’s styling is the same as the pre-facelift. However, there are a handful of small changes that actually add up to make a big difference. For instance, its headlights now gain the little “eyebrow’ LED light strips at the top of them, which makes them look more aggressive. It also gets a new Singleframe grille, which is wider and shorter and sports a much thinner bit of surrounding trim. It also gets a new grille insert, with a honeycomb pattern, that looks similar to RS cars’.

At the back, newer A6-style taillights replace the older ones and they make a big difference. While the pre-facelift Audi A5 is as stunning looking car, its taillights leave a bit to be desired, as they’re a touch boring. These new ones aren’t. It also gets new exhaust tips, which are now slim rectangular jobs that look sporty.

These new design elements carryover from the Coupe to the Cabriolet to the Sportback, so it doesn’t matter which model you get. The Sportback might be the best looking of the bunch, as it always is, but there’s something about the green Coupe seen in these photos that gets my blood pumping.

On the inside, all models get a slight update. With a massive Touch Response MMI screen replacing the old one, the facelifted Audi A5 now has an infotainment system that can compete with the best in the business. Though, because the new system is touchscreen, gone is the rotary controller. In its place is a little cubby for your stuff.

The A5 also gets the newest version of Virtual Cockpit, which is nothing short of incredible. When the first system came out, I thought it would be impossible to top. This new one, though, is better in every way and is the best in the business. That’s about the end of the interior updates, though. It’s still a great looking cabin, so that’s not so much of a problem but anyone looking for a more drastic update might be disappointed.

Along with the A5, Audi S5 models will also be receiving a facelift. What’s interesting is that while the A5 models get a sort of RS-style grille insert, Audi S5 models receive a different one. So instead of a honeycomb pattern, the Audi S5 gets a bunch of silver horizontal dashes. While not bad looking at all, in fact it actually looks quite good, we feel it’s a bit backwards. The A5 has the sportier looking grille while the S5 has the more premium, luxurious looking one.

Aside from the new grille, though, the differences between the S5 and A5 are virtually non-existent. Sure, the S5 has some sportier looking bits, like more aggressive air intakes and whatnot, but it’s largely the same. That’s to be expected, though, as ‘S’ cars are never drastically different than the standard ‘A’ cars on which they’re based.

Four engines will be available in the Audi A5, the typical suite of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. Though, they’ll all be getting a MHEV update. So each engine in the A5 will get a BAS (Belt Alternator Starter), which is essentially an electric motor that can power the crankshaft and allow the engine to shut down at high speed. It can also recuperate energy and store it in the battery pack.

Speaking of battery, the Audi A5 will keep its standard 12-volt battery system, while the Audi S5 TDI will be getting a 48-volt system.

At launch, an Audi A5 Edition One special edition will be available. It’s the green coupe you can see in these photos, as it comes with black accents, black mirrors and a black roof.

Sales will begin in Fall 2019 in Europe, though no word on when it will go on sale in the US. It likely won’t be too long after the European launch, though, so if you have a current Audi A5 and are looking to upgrade, you shouldn’t have to wait too long.

CategoriesA5 Editorial S5
Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.