If you’re after the fastest A5s you’ll need the S5 and range-topping RS 5. If your big Audi coupé or cabriolet is going to do without the red stripe of quattro GmbH before its badge then you’ll be looking at the 3.0-litre TDI quattro for the fastest against the clock. Its 5.8-second 0-62mph time is thanks to a combination of its 369lb ft of torque from low revs and the traction from its quattro four-wheel drive transmission.
To have any chance of keeping up in any other A5 then you’ll need the 2.0-litre TFSI quattro model, even if it trails its V6 TDI relation by 0.6 seconds to that benchmark (in either manual or S tronic automatic guises), though it can reach the same electronically limited 155mph. The 3.0-litre TDI with front-wheel drive and the Multitronic manages 62mph in 7.1 seconds, which isn't enough of an advantage over the 2.0 TDI - in quattro or front-wheel drive - to give it any consideration.
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The rest of the range typically runs that stopwatch from the late seven-second region to the early eights. The slowest, the economy-focused 2.0 TDI Ultra model, still manages a credible 8.3 seconds, buyers of it are more than likely to be happy to sacrifice the 0.1 seconds it trails its non-Ultra relation to 62mph for the three per cent reduction to their company car tax bill it brings.
The entire line-up is turbocharged, so the petrol units don't have as big a torque disadvantage as a result. They’re smoother and more eager to rev, but there’s something about the way Audi’s diesels deliver their power that suits the easy-going, nature of the A5.