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You should see the new –a two-door version of the popular A4 sedan–on streets sometime in 2007, 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 A5’s long wheelbase helps ensure that rear seat accommodations aren’t 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; and, in the S5, a 340-hp, 4.2-liter V-8. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the RS4’s even more potent 420-hp V-8 in a future RS5 model. 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 and Delphi’s MagneRide magnetic dampers. The cost for all this will fall between the BMW 3-series and the Mercedes-Benz CLK.