Diesels aren’t that quick, right?
Well, the European-spec Audi A5 3.0 TDI is as fast off the line as an A5 with the gasoline-fired 3.2-liter V-6, blasting from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. And 100 mph comes up in 15.4 seconds, just 0.3 second slower than the naturally aspirated gasoline machine. If the diesel car had been geared to reach 60 mph before our intrepid tester had to snatch third gear, it would have been quicker still, probably besting the BMW 335d’s 0-to-60-mph time of 5.7 seconds.
The Quattro all-wheel-drive system in the A5 is good for swift launches, of course, but the car only has 240 hp on tap versus 265 for the Bimmer, and 369 lb-ft of torque against 425. This engine seems better matched in this application than the BMW diesel does in a rear-drive 3-series, because the immense torque makes the 335d tricky to launch. What was most impressive about the Audi’s 3.0-liter direct-injection turbo-diesel, however, is the linearity of its power delivery. Most diesels run out of breath well before the redline approaches, but this Audi engine keeps pulling strongly until the tach needle hits 4800 rpm.
Keep Reading: 2008 Audi A5 3.0 TDI Quattro Diesel - Short Take Road Test