The A5 marks a departure for Audi, whose usual designs reflect constant radius curves and unambiguous design. Mixing straight lines, swathing curves and concave surfaces, viewed close up, the individual details can appear cluttered, but from a distance and especially on the move, gel cohesively.
Visually, from the front bumper as far back as the windscreen pillar, coupé and cabriolet are effectively identical. S-line versions add some visual bling in the form of a reasonably discreet bodykit and Audi’s trademark ultra-bright LED running lights, integrated below the xenon headlamps.
The cabriolet keeps the muscular contours of the coupé’s rear flanks, and Audi’s decision to stick with a folding fabric roof rather than a bulkier collapsible hard-top means that the design team has been able to keep the height of the rear deck low; with roof up or down, it’s a handsome car.
The five-door Sportback version is Germany’s Rover Vitesse. It is 36mm lower, 28mm wider and 6mm shorter than an A4. Audi admits space has been compromised slightly in the five-door.
The A5’s architecture is entirely conventional and familiar from its application across the Volkswagen Group; a steel unibody with a mix of petrol and diesel engines channelled through either front or quattro all-wheel drive. What’s clever about the platform is how far forward the axle line is, meaning the A5’s mass is distributed more uniformly across both axles, and the longer wheelbase benefits ride quality.