Audi has released the first photos of the refreshed 2013 A5/S5 family of coupes as well as the A5/S5 Sportback and Convertible models.  At first glance, the models have been refreshed with the new Audi corporate front end and taillights that mimic the new Audi A7 sedan.

On the interior, Audi has ditched the grey plastic around the instrument panel in favor of a sleek piano black finish and the steering wheel has been updated slightly.  The MMI interface has been updated, reducing the number of hard buttons from 8 to 4, as well as navigation powered by Google Earth.  Optional support for a Bluetooth phone allows the updated A5/S5 to become a wireless hotspot.

The most significant change is the revised engine lineup.  Audi has added a 170-hp 1.8 TFSI engine, a 272-hp version of the supercharged 3.0T V6 as well a 177-hp TDI diesel engine to the lineup of the A5 (which will probably not be available in North America).  The long-running 2.0T TFSI 4-cylinder and 3.0-liter V6 TDI engines remain unchanged.

For the S5, the clunky and inefficient 4.2-liter V8 has been ditched in favor of the wonderful 333-hp 3.0T Supercharged V6 engine found in the current Audi S4.   Additionally, the S5 quattro drivetrain has been upgraded to the crown-gear center differential from the Audi RS5 and an updated electromechanical power steering system.

We think it’s a  fantastic update to an already gorgeous model lineup, but we might be a little biased seeing how most of us around here own Audis.  The 3.0T engine is what the S5 really needed to turn it into a driver’s car instead of an understeering pig and it’s finally happened.   More exciting is that a less powerful 3.0T will be available in the A5 model.  If it’s just a matter of software and a few other things, the updated A5 could be quite the performance value leader.  No word yet though as to which engines will reach the North American shores.

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Zerin Dube

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