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Audi A5 Sportback: handling and active safety (4/7 >)

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Continued - The five-door A5 Sportback benefits from a high body stiffness with balanced distribution of axle load. As in the rest of the A5 series, the front axle is moved far to the front.

The differential is mounted directly behind the longitudinally installed engine and thus in front of the clutch or torque converter. The battery was moved to the luggage compartment for better balance.


All major components of the front and rear suspensions are made of aluminium, reducing the unsprung masses.

Audi A5 Sportback: materials in the body structure.

Materials in the body structure, legend (top to down): standard steels, high-strength steels, higher-strength steels, maximum-strength steels, maximum-strength steels (hot treated).

The front wheels are mounted on a five-link axle that can absorb separately the longitudinal and lateral forces acting upon it. Bearings are stiff in the lateral direction for sporty precision and soft and supple in the longitudinal direction.

The front axle and the engine are fastened to an auxiliary frame that is bolted to the front section of the car.

Audi A5 Sportback: chassis and drivetrain (front-wheel drive versions).

A5 Sportback chassis and drivetrain, front-wheel drive (AWD versions).

The rear suspension is identical in the front-wheel-drive and quattro versions. The self-tracking, trapezoidal link rear suspension is also mounted on an auxiliary frame. The springs and shock absorbers – the latter with small supplemental stop springs – are mounted separately on the wheel carriers, to combine ride comfort with sporty precision.

An optional sport suspension is available in three variants: a tauter setup with or without controlled dampers and an S line sports suspension that lowers the body by 10 millimetres (0.39 in).


The 2.0 TDI and the 2.0 TFSI with 132 kW (180 hp) get 314-millimetre (12.36 in) ventilated front discs and 300-millimetre (11.81 in) discs at the rear.

To enhance heat dissipation in the front discs, two friction rings are connected by hundreds of small metal cubes through which a high volume of cooling air can flow.

Audi A5 Sportback: panelled aerodynamic underbody for air flow optimization.

Panelled aerodynamic underbody for air flow optimization.

With the V6 engines and the 2.0 TFSI with 155 kW (211 hp), the front discs diameter is 320 millimetres (12.6 in), with calipers made of a composite material. The piston housing is made of aluminium, better for weight and heat dissipation.


The standard, six-spoke 7.5 J x 17 forged alloy wheels come with 225/50 tires. Two additional 17-inch wheels, four 18-inch wheels, one of which in an A5 Sportback-specific design, and three 19-inch wheels are available as options.

The top of the line is a 9 J x 20, seven twin-spoke cast wheel shod with 265/30 tires. All versions are equipped with a tire pressure monitoring display.


The front-wheel-drive versions of the A5 Sportback come standard with the latest generation of the ESP stabilization program from the A5 Coupé and Cabriolet, now including a new electronic differential lock, which works like a mechanical locking differential, preventing understeer and improving traction.

The new function aims to improve the driving dynamics through curves, under load and on both wet and dry road surfaces, giving a more precise steering reaction and greater track stability, improving also reaction in corners so that the car can be steered with less steering effort.

These results are achieved through sophisticated software in the ESP. As soon as the electronics detect that the load on the inside wheel of the powered front axle is reduced too much and the wheel loses traction, it initiates brief, controlled braking. This redirects the excess torque to the outside wheel, which due to the greater dynamic wheel load is capable of delivering more power to the road.

 Audi select drive

The optional Audi drive select system is another active safety equipment available for the A5 Sportback, enabling the driver to access all of the technical components relevant to driving dynamics and vary their function by switching between “comfort,” “auto” and “dynamic” modes. A fourth “individual” mode is available with the  MMI navigation system, enabling the driver to customise his / her settings from a large number of parameters.

Audi drive select influences the:

- engine’s throttle response characteristic,
- shift points of the seven-speed S tronic,
- boost of the servotronic steering.

Consequently, the Audi drive select system needs to be combined with at least one of three other technologies: the sport differential, adaptive shock absorber control or dynamic steering.

The electronic shock absorber control system uses CDC (continuous damping control) shock absorbers. Their electromagnetically actuated valves control the flow of hydraulic fluid between the inner and the outer tubes by opening orifices of different sizes. A large cross-section provides a soft damping characteristic, and a small cross-section provides a taut characteristic. A fast controller continuously analyzes the signals received from 14 sensors and calculates the optimal damping per wheel in extremely short intervals (1,000 times per second).


The rack-and-pinion steering features a sporty and direct 16.1:1 ratio. The system’s regulated vane pump provides hydraulic assistance according to driving conditions. The speed-sensitive servotronic is standard with the 2.0 TFSI with 155 kW (211 hp) and the V6.

Audi A5 Sportback: optional Dynamic Steering System with ESP and electronic limited-slip differential. at the front.

The optional dynamic steering system (opposite) varies the steering ratio by nearly 100 percent as a function of driving speed and the mode specified by the Audi drive select system. It uses a superposition gear integrated into the steering column and driven by an electric motor.

At low speeds, the system is very direct and boost is also very high, which makes parking easier. At moderate highway speeds, the system becomes less direct and provides less power assist. At top speeds, an indirect steering ratio and low level of power assist facilitate steady tracking.

The dynamic steering works together with the ESP stabilization program. Because it can make steering corrections in less time than the brake system needs to build up pressure at the wheels, it reduces the number of braking actions. Dynamic steering counters oversteer caused by load changes as well as understeer, and also provides assistance when braking on surfaces with different coefficients of friction.

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