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European Audi A5, S5 Updated for 2012, NA Versions for 2013

by Jeffrey N. Ross
July 26, 2011
2 min. Reading Time

After only four years on the market, the Audi A5 and Audi S5 still look as stylish as the day they debuted, but Audi is giving both versions of the sporty coupe a slight update for 2012. As is usually the case with most Audi models, the North American versions of the new A5 and S5 will debut a year later for the 2013 model. The new design is being applied to all of the A5 and S5 body styles that include the Coupe, Cabriolet and Sportback.

Pictured: 2013 Audi S5

The most noticeable change made to the revised Audi A5 and Audi S5 is the new front end styling. While the signature shape of the large grille has stayed the same, the new fascia and headlights give each car a completely different appearance. Inspired by the all-new 2012 Audi A6, the new face of the A5 line-up is highlighted by the larger fascia openings and the reshaped headlights. These new headlights make it seem like Audi is already moving away from the strip of LEDs for the daytime running lights as evident by the new wrap-around LED DRLs found on the A5, S5 and A6. The thin strip of LEDs became a signature cue on the R8 and subsequent Audi models, but other automakers – ranging from Kia to Porsche – have also found the lights a unique way to spruce up a design. The only other major visual change to the new A5 and S5 cars are slightly tweaked taillights that now feature LED lights and smaller reverse lights that have been moved to the lower edge of the cluster.

Pictured: 2-13 Audi A5


Keen eyes will notice one more slight exterior change on the S5 models with a new “3.0T” badge on the front fenders instead of a “V8” badge. The new Audi S5 will also be ditching the high-revving 4.2-liter V-8 engine in place of a supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 currently only offered on the S5 Cabriolet. This force-fed V-6 produces 333 horsepower compared to 354 hp for the V-8, and Audi says this V-6 also consumes 20 percent less fuel than the larger V-8. As with the styling changes, this new engine in the S5 won’t be available in North American Audi dealerships until the 2013 model year. In the U.S., the base engine will continue to the 211-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, but it seems Audi is planning to offer a detuned version of the S5’s supercharged V-6 producing just 272 hp which would be a welcome addition to the line-up here in the States.

Pictured: 2011 Audi S5 Cabriolet


Inside, minor changes have been made to the cabin both in terms of design and technology. An updated infotainment system now features more refined controls, while Audi connect adds Google POI search and Google Earth images to the navigation system as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot capability. Drivers will notice the biggest changes to the cabin including a redesigned center console area and a new steering wheel and steering column.


The Audi A5 Sportback and S5 Sportback will be getting the same enhancements as the two-door counterparts, but, unfortunately, they will remain available for European buyers only. These five-door hatchbacks feature a sleeker, coupe-like shape with the added convenience of an extra set of rear door, and for the 2012 model year now feature the option of a five-passenger seating capacity instead of the previous four-passenger-only layout.


One design that hasn’t been shown yet is the super high performance Audi RS5 which should also get similar styling enhancements but with a much more aggressive application. The Audi RS5 has been confirmed for sale in the U.S., but there is no timeframe as to when they will be hitting showrooms.

All of the new A5 and S5 models will likely make will make their official debut in September at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.



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