Audi let us compare a stock A5 3.2 FSI, equipped with the 265-hp V-6, against the lightweight concept with the 2.0-liter engine dialed back from 258 pound-feet of torque to deliver the same 243 as the V-6. We can attest to the fact that a 500-plus-pound reduction makes for a stunning dynamic improvement. Turn-in becomes more agile, the car can be tossed around with ease, and the 211-hp engine feels far stronger than its numbers suggest.
A regular A5 3.2 FSI seems downright clumsy in comparison. Audi claims the lightweight concept is 0.3 second quicker to 60 mph than the V-6. In our testing, the A5 V-6 ran from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, so we expect the lightweight concept to hit 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, a 0.7-second improvement over a standard A5 2.0T.
Audi originally intended the concept to emulate the performance of the V-8�powered, 354-hp S5, but, despite the weight loss, the concept still can�t match the S5�s acceleration. We understand that a second concept is currently being built�and we wouldn�t be surprised if this one was equipped with the 265-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four from the TTS. With that much power, the four-cylinder lightweight just might be able to trounce the S5�s V-8.
Most �efficiency� concepts make us dread the future; this one gives us hope.
(BY JENS MEINERS, PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATTHIAS KN�DLER AND THE MANUFACTURER, ILLUSTRATION BY BRYAN CHRISTIE DESIGN)