Likely to become the most unpopular member of the A5 family, the G-Tron wants to be cooler thanks to its swanky new look.
Audi is one of the very few high-end automakers out there selling cars with gasoline engines capable of running on compressed natural gas. After coming out with G-Tron versions of the A3 Sportback and the A4 Avant, the sexier A5 Sportback has also received the CNG treatment and it will be effectively launched early this summer. Audi has decided to remind us about its impending arrival by bringing a one-off version at the annual Wörthersee GTI meet.
While parent company Volkswagen has a fully modified 410-hp hybrid GTI First Decade concept on display, Audi’s CNG-compatible A5 only boasts a special exterior finish with a two-tone look and a honeycomb pattern on top of the blue shade over the car’s rear half. More blue accents are noticeable in the headlights, brake calipers, and on the “G-Tron” lettering adorning the front doors and above the rear window. As for the taillights, these have been modified as well to look more high-tech compared to those of the standard car.
At the heart of the thrifty bivalent A5 Sportback is a 2.0 TFSI gasoline engine developing 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. The Worthersee showcar is fitted with an S Tronic automatic transmission, but Audi will sell its third G-Tron model with a manual as well. Beneath the car’s rearward structure are the tanks for the gas fuel capable of storing 19 kilograms. These tanks have an intricate construction as their inner layer is made from gas-impermeable polyamide matrix, while the second composite layer consists of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) and glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP). There’s a third glass fibre layer while the epoxy resin is used to bind the fibreglass-reinforced materials.
Although the A5 Sportback G-Tron wasn’t built with performance in mind, it still manages to hit 100 kilometres per hour in a decent eight-and-a-half seconds before topping out at 226 km/h.
More important when talking about a car that can run on CNG are the fuel economy numbers. In this case, the S Tronic-fitted model needs 3.8 kg of gas / 100 km, while in gasoline operation it consumes 5.6 litres / 100 km. In the New European Driving Cycle, the A5 Sportback G-Tron can cover up to 500 km running solely on gas. Once the gas level drops to around 0.6 kg, the car automatically switches to gasoline operation and that enables an additional range of 450 km. That means the A5 Sportback G-Tron will cover almost 100 km with all of the fuel tanks full as per the rather optimistic NEDC.
Aside from running on gasoline and CNG, the A5 Sportback G-Tron is also compatible with Audi’s own e-gas produced by using renewable energy from water and CO2 or using organic residual materials such as straw and plant clippings. Audi actually has an offer that will last until May 31, 2018 providing owners with three years’ worth of e-gas for the price of regular gas.
It remains to be seen whether the A5 G-Tron’ version will prove to be popular considering the Sportback is already available with a plethora of more popular engines.
Images and video below are showing the standard G-Tron model.