2008 Audi A5

Following its Geneva debut, you should see the new Audi A5--a two-door version of the popular A4 sedan--on streets sometime this year, most likely in the fall. The A5 will be available as a coupe or soft top, although the convertible won't appear until 2008. The word on the street is the A5 will retain the wheelbase from the A4, so rear seat accommodations shouldn't be too torturous.

The A5 will be offered with a variety of engines. The base powerplant will be the Volkswagen group's 2.0-liter four that works so well in the Rabbit GTI and TT; a 265-hp, 3.2-liter V-6; a 340-hp, 4.2-liter V-8; or the RS4's even more potent 420-hp V-8. A redesigned transaxle (incorporating a more compact clutch and differential) allows the engine to sit farther back than it does in today's A4, trimming the front overhang and allowing for better weight distribution.

Other available goodies include all-wheel drive, a dual-clutch DSG transmission, and Delphi's MagneRide magnetic dampers. The cost for all this will fall between the BMW 3-series and the Mercedes-Benz CLK.

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