There's a good reason why, in the first three months of 2016, Audi achieved 526,000 global sales, £11 billion revenue and very healthy operating profits of £990 million.
It’s mostly because Audi’s formula of finely polished vehicles with precision-made interiors continues to pay off. And the new A5 is a particularly good example.
Its styling brilliantly exploits Audi’s most subtle pressing technology to create a vehicle that oozes sophistication.
It’s hard to see that from over-processed studio pictures. But looking at the new A5 in the metal, the showroom and driveway appeal is obvious. The new car really does make the outgoing model look rather bulbous and flabby.
But the new A5 is not just about Audi’s increasing expertise in pressing and production technology. The A5 also has some beautifully engineered components, particularly the bonnet hinges.
A four-link set-up, they lift the clamshell bonnet forwards and upwards, as well as being part of a pyrotechnic arrangement in which the rear edge of the bonnet is lifted up if a pedestrian impact is detected. And once the bonnet is raised, you can see how Audi has fitted the washer bottle into the space behind the front wheel, the filler cap just visible below the base of the A-pillar.
It’s these kinds of exceptional engineering details that, Audi believes, will — perhaps subliminally — convince buyers to pay premium prices.