What Are They?
By far Audi’s most important debut in LA was the all-new A5 model range, which represents a complete redesign of the current model. While styling has stayed relatively similar, as is Audi’s tradition, the big news is the addition of a body style: SportBack versions of the A5 (and the high-performance S5), which were formerly never sold in America, will finally be making their way to our market. Think of the A5 SportBack as a 4-door coupe version of the A4 — sort of like the Mercedes CLS or the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe — and you’re on the right track. Of course, the A5 will also offer coupe and convertible models, as they do now.
The A5/S5 model range will offer two engine choices. A5 models will feature a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that generates 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque — a potent engine that will propel the car from 0 to 60 miles per hour in as little as 5.6 seconds. Drivers who’d prefer the more powerful S5 will get a 354-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, which is capable of getting the car to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. The A5 will offer a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic or a 6-speed manual, while the S5 comes standard with an 8-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is standard on all A5 and S5 models.
Audi also showed off an all-new version of the R8 in LA. Dubbed the R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition, the new R8 model is limited to just 25 total units — and while it features a special color scheme, its primary unique selling point over the standard R8 V10 Plus is Audi’s new laser-beam headlight system, which the automaker says “greatly enhances visibility for the driver.”
Although Audi hasn’t yet announced pricing for the 2018 A5, we expect its starting MSRP to stay close to the current model’s base-level figure of roughly $42,000 with shipping. The R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition starts at $230,500 with shipping — a big premium over the standard R8 V10 Plus’s MSRP of roughly $191,000 with shipping.
When Can You Get Them?
While the R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition will likely go on sale shortly, the 2018 A5 reaches dealers early next year.
Add Them to Your Shopping List Because…
The 2018 Audi A5 and S5 deserve a spot on your shopping list for the same reasons their predecessors did. They offer a gorgeous design, sporty powertrains and — if the latest A4 is any indication — a lot of luxury equipment. New SportBack models only give drivers one more reason to add the A5 to their shopping lists.
As for the R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition, well, it’s worth a spot on your shopping list if you want something nobody else has — though we suspect its laser-beam headlights will start to become more common among high-end vehicles in the next few years.
Other Cars to Consider
R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition
2017 Acura NSX — The Acura NSX is one of the most exciting new cars on the road. While Acura may not be the first brand you consider when you’re thinking about a high-performance sports car, the NSX offers amazing performance and attracts a lot of attention — even if it doesn’t have laser-beam headlights.
2017 BMW i8 — Like the R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition, the BMW i8 offers laser headlights. And like the R8, the i8’s design is sure to help you stand out. The BMW’s performance isn’t up to the R8’s level — but then again, neither is its price tag.
2017 BMW 4 Series — Like the A5, the 4 Series offers a full lineup of models that includes a coupe, a convertible and a 4-door hatchback. Performance is impressive, and the M4 offers far more power than the S5.
2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class — The rapidly expanding C-Class lineup doesn’t include a convertible, but it now offers a handsome coupe to rival the A5. A wide selection of engine choices makes the C-Class lineup an excellent choice for shoppers of all budgets.