IN FOCUS

MIRROR MIRROR

We reflect on the beautifully designed all-new Audi A5 Coupé from every possible angle

WRITER Katie Johnstone

PHOTOGRAPHER Alex Howe

Walter de Silva, the multi-award-winning designer who oversaw the styling of the original Audi A5 Coupé in 2007, famously described that car as the most beautiful he ever created. So, no pressure for Audi's modern-day designers, tasked with styling the all-new Audi A5 Coupé for 2016. To find out how they've risen to the challenge, we drove an A5 Coupé 2.0 TFSI quattro S line, very carefully and very slowly,

into a specially created ‘hall of mirrors' to reflect on every curve, nip, tuck and detail of its body.

Audi's designers are fond of saying that the all-new A5 Coupé has been to the gym, and you can see just what they mean as you study the car's tight, lean, crisp lines. ‘The original car was elegant, but the new model is undeniably more taut and more muscular-looking,' affirms Audi exterior designer Jakob Hirzel.

In certain areas, such as in the side profile, you can clearly see where the coupé has been visually lightened, giving it a super-lean, almost ‘ripped' look. But look at the bonnet and wheel arches and you get a real sense of the car bulking up and putting on some serious music

Of course, as this car is now available in Audi Centres throughout the UK, it really would be a shame not to get behind the wheel. It's taken two days for the photographer to capture every nuance of its body shape, but finally the shutter release button is pressed for the very last time, and the A5 Coupé is finally mine.

Along with the high-performance S5 model, the A5 Coupé is offered in three trim levels – SE, Sport and S line. I settle into the leather/Alcantara driver's Sport seat, adjust the multi-function three-spoke leather steering wheel and press the starter button. Under the bonnet, the 252PS 2.0-litre engine fires up almost imperceptibly. In front of me, the Audi Virtual Cockpit comes alive. With its high-definition

digital display, it really does look like something that until recently you would only have seen in a sci-fi film. The Audi Virtual Cockpit is offered as part of an optional Vision Pack along with Head-up display, which projects warning and navigation instructions onto the windscreen in the driver's field of vision, and High-beam assist, which automatically adjusts the car's headlights.

However, even in standard guise, every A5 Coupé comes equipped with an impressive array of advanced technology. Standard-fit features include Audi drive select, which allows you to fine-tune the car's driving characteristics; a power-operated tailgate; and Audi Smartphone Interface, which enables you to display and access mobile content via the car's MMI system.

While replacing Walter de Silva's iconic design for the original A5 Coupé from 2007 was obviously an extremely daunting task – and it's one that Audi's stylists have risen to admirably. They have retained the simple beauty of the first A5 Coupé, but also given it a new, more athletic, more dynamic character. And with its exquisitely crafted interior, agile handling, strong, efficient performance and ground-breaking technology, the all-new A5 Coupé proves its beauty is so much more than skin deep.

AUDI A5 COUPÉ 2.0 TFSI QUATTRO S LINE

Price from £41,240 OTR
Engine 2.0 TFSI 252PS
Transmission seven-speed S tronic
Drivetrain quattro all-wheel drive
0-62mph 5.8 seconds
Top speed 155mph
Efficiency 

45.6mpg combined*,

141g/km C02*

*Standard EU test figure for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. With 18-inch wheels