Words Davy Lewis Photography AJ Walker #Audi
A5 TDI 3.0 V6 Packing 325bhp and 626Nm
This A5 TDI is now packing a healthy 325bhp and 626Nm…
There’s a stage in life that many of us reach at some point. You wake up one morning and think, ‘hang on a minute, I need something a bit more grown up; a bit more sensible.’ Back in the day, this would mean the end of any car related fun. It would mean time for a TDI. Unfortunately, most diesels were smelly, slow and sounded like an old Transit van on a cold morning.
Today however, things have moved on somewhat.
The latest crop of modern TDIs are packing some serious heat. From the ubiquitous 2.0 units found in everything from A3s to A6s, to the powerful #BiTDI
lumps with 300+bhp in the SQ5 and A6 – Audi makes some cracking, fast diesels. In fact, the most powerful production diesel has just been announced – the 4.0 V8 in the new SQ7 which kicks out a stonking 435bhp and 664lb/ft. But, one of the most popular diesels for tuning is the 3.0 TDI V6. This highly capable powerplant has been used in many Audis, from A4s to Q7s and created a loyal following. It offers strong performance with up to 236bhp and 369lb/ft in the A5, a smooth power delivery from the V6 and a noise that sounds quite un- diesel like. They also respond very well to tuning, which brings us to this stunning red A5…
Having run lots of belly scraping tuned cars, Dan Harney decided he’d had enough. He wanted something more comfortable, that wouldn’t empty his wallet each week for fuel, but still offer some decent grunt. The A5 made a lot of sense.
“I bought it to be sensible and use daily to get to work,” he comments, “but within two months I’d fitted air-ride,” he laughs. The Air Lift Performance set up was chosen as Dan was fed up with running a low car on his local roads. The V2 kit is fully adjustable and offers the practicality and comfort needed for our terrible roads. It’s been fully tested too, as Dan explains: “I took it to the Nürburgring and did a sub-10-minute lap.” He continues, “The lads I was with didn’t think it would handle with the air-ride, so I took all of them out and they were amazed.
“The A5 has the two things I said I’d never have – a diesel engine and an auto box,” smiles Dan. “But it was the 3.0 V6 that drew me too it.” With 236bhp from the factory, it pulled well and offered effortless performance mated to the tiptronic box. “It has the paddle shifters, so you can have a play if you’re bored, or leave it in Sport so it hangs onto the gears for longer.” Of course, it would be a shame to leave an engine with so much potential standard.
The A5 was sent to ADE Tuning for a DPF delete and custom remap. The diesel particulate filter strangles performance and the delete pipe does away with it. Visually the DPF still appears to be fitted, which is currently all that’s required for an MoT. The exhaust is a custom unit, fabricated by Pipewerx. Dan had a chat with the guys and told them his requirements and they suggested a 2.5in system to produce the best sound, without risking too much drone at motorway speeds. The twin-exit system certainly looks the part, but it’s the sound that really blows people away. “Whenever I take someone out in the car, they say it doesn’t sound anything like a diesel,” smiles Dan. To be fair, the V6 makes a nice noise as standard, but with the custom exhaust (which incidentally has no boxes) it sounds plain evil. Nail the throttle in Sport and the big V6 wakes up with an angry snarl, which increases to a spine tingling crescendo as you fire through second and third gear. The real treat is nailing it from second and listening to that fantastic V6 howl behind you. Dan says, “Some have said it sounds more like a Golf R32 than a diesel A5.”
With an ADE Tuning custom map, the potential of the V6 has been fully realised. Peak power is now an impressive 325bhp – almost S5 level – while the all-important torque figure is a mighty 626Nm, which is almost as much as a C7 RS6. “It certainly takes people by surprise,” laughs Dan, “being a quattro, it gets off the line pretty well and I like the fact it doesn’t look like an S or RS model.”
The next step would be a hybrid turbo, plus supporting upgrades, which with A5s abroad making around 400bhp and up to 800Nm; it’s certainly tempting.
Outside, things have been kept nice and subtle. There’s an RSstyle front grille, which gives the front end much more purpose, while the rear 3.0 badges have been removed. It really does look great in red, too, especially with the 3SDM wheels. “I spent a long time choosing wheels,” says Dan, “I went for these as they look good and I didn’t want to spend silly money on something that I’d be worried about every time I drove the car.” Although not wanting to create an S or RS replica outside, when it came to the inside, a full S5 interior has been fitted. “I saw loads for sale for silly money or in a terrible condition, so when this one came up for a good price I jumped on it.” The cream leather seats, door cards and arm rest have transformed the previously dark cabin. The finishing touches are an RS5 steering wheel, plus carbon wrapped inlays and an RS6 gear knob.
Considering this was supposed to be Dan’s sensible daily, he’s managed to liven it up a treat. It now looks fantastic, offers solid performance and puts a smile on his face when he drives it. Sounds ideal to us.
Engine 3.0 #TDI #V6
custom 2.5in exhaust system, #ADE-Tuning
custom remap and DPF and EGR delete, #K&N
Power 325bhp and 626Nm
Transmission 6-speed tiptronic / #ZF
Brakes Vented discs and uprated pads
Suspension #Air-Lift #Air-Lift-Performance-V2
V2 kit with double bellow bags and threaded body dampers
Wheels and Tyres 10.5x20in 3#SDM
Interior Full S5 cream leather interior including seats, door cards and arm rest, RS5 steering wheel, carbon shift paddles, RS6 gear knob, carbon-wrapped inlays, subtle boot install
Exterior RS-style front grille, debadged rear, LED fog lights, pressed personal plates
Contacts/thanks Nick Payne and Chris Gent at Ride and Performance for the detailing, ADE Tuning for the remap and DPF, Pipewerx for the exhaust, the Unphased Crew
Left: Full S5 interior in cream leather has transformed the A5’s cabin.
“Some have said it sounds more like a Golf R32 than a diesel A5”
Above: 3.0 TDI V6 provides ample grunt / Bottom: #3SDM
alloys are well suited
“The A5 has two things I said I’d never have – a diesel engine and an auto box”