2013 Audi A5 2.0T Coupe Quattro Tiptronic: The name says it all


I always thought the best job in the automotive realm belongs to the people who get to make up the names of exterior colors. Growing up, we had 64, maybe 108 different colors we could name, and that’s only because of the size of our crayon boxes. I believe a big portion of the car-color namers’ (just guessing, but I’ll bet that’s not their actual title) time is spent trying to discover new ways to say “black.” For example, there’s Tuxedo Black, Magnetic Black, Black Sapphire, Gloss Black, Crystal Black and, in the case of the 2013 Audi A5, Brilliant Black, which is a fitting name, since the new A5 is a brilliant vehicle. Brilliant as in: a beautifully updated fascia, well-balanced ride and responsive 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

The A5 line (including performance-oriented siblings the S5 and RS 5) is a mainstay for Audi. The A5 alone is over the 8,000 sales mark in the first half of 2012, and is on track to have the best sales year ever for the luxury coupe. It’s the third best-selling vehicle in its lineup (behind the A4 and Q5), but number one in the hearts of its owners.

And for good reason, one look at the A5’s elegant, sport-oriented lines and you understand why it has its adoring fans. Audi made only a handful of changes to the exterior for 2013 (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it), and mostly to the front area. Redesigned headlamps with LED accents, a new grille and a more sport-oriented front bumper are the most noticeable. It looks more integrated and aerodynamic, especially the new pistol-shaped versus previously boxy headlamp assembly.

Audi designers also cleaned up the A5 Coupe’s LED taillamps to finish the exterior upgrade. The A5 coupe comes standard with 245/40 all-season tires and 18-inch 5-spoke V-design wheels, which are some of the best-looking OEM rims we’ve seen in a while. Optional 255/35 summer tires with 19-inch 10-spoke wheels will set you back $800, and for another $140, you can add the port-installed polished exhaust tips if the performance look is what you prefer.

Inside, the A5 receives a new available 3-spoke steering wheel with a flat bottom (we love the flat-bottom wheel but alas, didn’t get it in our test car), a revised IP with the focus on the speedometer, new fabric and leather options, new wood inlays, and a fresh selection of interior color trim.

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BJ, one of the first female automotive journalists in the country, has been testing and writing about automobiles for almost three decades. A former Road Test Editor for Motor Trend magazine. BJ now freelances for numerous automotive titles and websites. She is the Road Test Editor and co-host of “Driver’s Talk” Radio, a simultaneous vodcast/broadcast that is heard in over a dozen markets across the country as well as on the internet and Stitcher. BJ is a multiple winner of the prestigious IAMC awards, including the “Best of Radio,” and has served as a judge on numerous automotive competitions, including Concept Vehicle of the Year. A big racing fan, her love of automobiles started early, having been exposed to the field through her father, who owned an assortment of collector classics, such as a ’61 Austin-Healey 3000, a ’641⁄2 Mustang, and other vehicles. BJ, a native Southern Californian, is married to automotive photographer Scott Killeen, and is a two-year past president of the Motor Press Guild, the organization that represents almost 900 automotive journalists and industry representatives across the country. BJ and Scott (Team Killeen), are publishers of the BUILD BOOK, a serial publication that follows the build of one custom vehicle from start to finish.

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