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Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

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 A5 coupé is a particularly elegant car

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 Audi 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.

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The front suspension is a five-link affair for better control, each link constructed from aluminium (also good for ride) and mounted directly to a sub frame. Furthermore there’s electromechanical steering to improve feel and response, as well as economy.

The 2017 models retains the Sportback profile and shape, but is 17mm longer, which affords 11mm extra shoulder room and 24mm more rear knee room, which will make clambering in and out of the back easier. Upfront there will be a range of 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, along with a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine to choose from, while the S5 gets a 3.0-litre V6 TFSI engine producing 349bhp.