The new A5 coupe is more than just a stylish new addition to the Audi range: It debuts a brand new vehicle architecture that will underpin some of Audi's most important models over the coming decade.
The A5 is built on a platform known internally at Audi as B8. The B8 platform retains the traditional Audi longitudinal engine/front drive layout, but a radical new drivetrain and front suspension design gives the A5 similar proportions, and - in all-wheel drive Quattro configuration - similar handling to a conventional rear drive vehicle, according to Audi engineers.
With the B8 platform the engine sits ahead of the front axle, as usual, but Audi engineers have placed the front differential between the engine and the transmission, effectively shifting the mass of the engine rearwards. The front driveshafts are also angled slightly towards the front of the car and supported by a new five link suspension system.
This expensive solution (Audi product development chief Michael Dick won't say how much it added to the B8's development cost) means the front axle centreline of the A5 is some 4.72in further forward than the current A4.
In addition to the styling and handling benefits, the new architecture allows Audi to better meet the tough new pedestrian safety regulations. If the current A4's architecture had been retained, says Dick, the A5 would have needed a 39 inch front overhang to comply. It also allows the steering rack to be mounted much lower in the car, which should improve steering feel, long an Audi weak point. We'll find out when we drive the new A5 in Italy this summer.
What makes B8 critically important for Audi is the all-new A4, scheduled to make its world debut at the Frankfurt Show in September, will be built off the architecture, as will the forthcoming Q5 SUV, and the next generation A6.
03-12-2007, 06:10 AM
What next? mandatory Padded sidewalks for people who jump from buildings?
03-12-2007, 06:26 AM
03-12-2007, 07:28 AM
03-12-2007, 07:40 AM
I don't see any other pedestrians throughout the world that are complaining. If you get hit by a moving 3000+ pound metal vehicle, all the "pedestrian safety" in the world isn't going to save you. I know what the Europeans are trying to accomplish but they seemed to have forgotten about physics. The "pedestrian safety" law is a knee-jerk reaction to a problem that should be addressed at the human level ( by educating both driver and pedestrians and assigning "zones" for pedestrians), not the mechanical level.
03-12-2007, 08:07 AM
You're obviously not from Europe? Believe me education is very extensive and nothing compared to US. You have to be at least 18 and on average you take at least 40 hour lessons with a qualified instructor (not your dad or family). Second you get an extensive exam on top of the driving exam. Only about half pass first time (that is in Western Europe).
There are such things as accidents... No matter how much training you may have had including pedestrian?!
That said in the US we can forget probably about this, most vehicles are SUV's and probably would just run over you.
03-12-2007, 08:13 AM
03-12-2007, 08:17 AM
John J Szobocsan
03-12-2007, 08:32 AM
Japanese cars for many years were designed to prevent pedestrians wearing kimonos from being caught on car body surfaces.
It is very evident from your statement that you live in a suburban environment and not a high-density urban cityscape. If you did you would be much more sensitive to pedestrian safety. I walk to and from work on a daily basis and I can personally attest that, over the past decade, drivers of large vehicles, namely trucks and SUVs, take a more cavalier view of pedestrians. Modern cities require cooperation to be successful, civil communities. Drivers and pedestrians must co-exist and share common pathways, namely cross walks at street corners. The problem has become so bad that the City of Chicago is enforcing a crack down on aggressive drivers that do not respect the rights of the pedestrians.
Furthermore, your statements show ignorance of European culture and society. European cities, tend to be old, compared with cities in the U.S. and have very little space for cars and pedestrians. That walkway you may consider as a sidewalk is also a road used by automobiles. In fact, several major European communities have banned automobile traffic, to carying degrees, from the city centers, i.e., Paris and Rome.
03-12-2007, 08:36 AM
This lady got run over and killed right outside my job last month. All the saftey standards in the world wouldn't have saved her. Even if the car was surrounded by pillows, she still would have got killed.
03-12-2007, 08:41 AM
03-12-2007, 08:46 AM
John J Szobocsan
03-12-2007, 08:47 AM
The EU pedestrian safety regulations are not designed to save a pedestrian during a high speed impact with a vehicle; instead, it is designed to protect pedestrians at lower speeds found in European communities. The idea is to increase pedestrian survivability for collisions ~20 mph and slower.
The EU regulations are what they are and no one can change them. If the EU begins to set more stringent greenhouse gas emission standards, then the German makers will have serious problems and the V8 and possibly the V6 is dead.
Regulations are based on perceived common good and not the viewpoint of one individual or group of individuals.
03-12-2007, 08:53 AM
perceived common good isn't easily defined.
03-12-2007, 12:26 PM
John J Szobocsan
03-12-2007, 02:14 PM
Information, other than statements made by Audi executives is very limited.
03-12-2007, 04:36 PM
03-12-2007, 08:52 PM
the new front transaxle arrangement is ultimately the truly big news. I always loved Quattro but the *big* trade off was the huge front overhang. Styling and weight distribution would have to suffer compared to the likes of BMW. But this nice new bit of engineering has gone a long way to fix those problems *and* retain all the Quattro goodness. I can't wait to read the first driving reports...!
03-12-2007, 09:20 PM
...first of all they care more about pedestrians because sidewalks are much more crowded in EU cities than over here. Second...there is not much places within city limmits (I mean mostly centrums /downtowns) where you can speed your 3000+ vehicle. It is mostly because of street layouts. Too much curves, stops, speed bumps etc. Pedestrian safety work as a charm in that environment.
Third ....Germans are very precise in everything they do. If there is a regulation like that, believe me there is a good reason and plenty of research behind it.
...and since you are on human level / driver education..... I would be glad if drivers in US could adopt at least 20% of the European skills and driving culture.
Just to compare, It took over 40+ hours of practice in heavy traffic to even be qualified for exam. And they were soo strict you wouldn't believe it. When I did my US DL it was almost like a joke :D
03-12-2007, 10:42 PM
03-13-2007, 09:53 AM
been to Europe many, many times. The exam in the US is a joke to get a DL, I don't see how you can fail? The written part is very basic, the driving part is a trip around the block without speeding or hitting anyone. The give the test in many languages, you can take it many times, etc... This is why driving here is a nightmare, many people can't drive, and really shouldn't be on the road.